World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11 is a mercy opportunity

Is your prayer list for people who are sick as long as mine? Maybe it’s the pervasive communication of social media, maybe it’s that I and my peers are getting older, but every day seems to bring news of another friend, family member or friend-of-a-friend diagnosed with cancer, facing surgery, or being hospitalized with an illness.

Those who are facing illness, and we who love them, have a special day coming up in the church. It’s called the World Day of the Sick. It will be observed on Thursday, Feb. 11.

“Illness, above all grave illness, always places human existence in crisis and brings with it questions that dig deep,” writes Pope Francis in a message for the occasion. “In these situations, faith in God is on the one hand tested, yet at the same time can reveal all of its positive resources.”

As we continue through the Holy Year of Mercy, this day — coming at the very beginning of Lent — presents an opportunity to put our faith into action. Why not plan now to visit or call a sick friend on Feb. 11, perhaps bring a meal, or attend Mass and pray for those on our lists?

“We are certain that the Lord will surely turn our human efforts into something divine,” writes Pope Francis. “We too can be hands, arms and hearts which help God to perform miracles.”

Who may be waiting for your visit or call? There’s no need to wait until Feb. 11. Thomas J. Dermody


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