From the homily today of the Holy Father on the World Day of the Sick, my translation of his Italian original:
“The maternity of the Church is reflected in the caring love of God, of which the prophet Isaiah speaks: ‘As a mother consoles a son, so I will console you; in Jerusalem you will be consoled’ (Isaiah 66: 13). A maternity that speaks without words, that arises within hearts a consolation, a intimate joy, a joy that paradoxically lives with a sorrow, with suffering. The Church, as Mother, carries deeply within her the dramma of humantity and the consolation of God, holds both together throughout the journey of history. Through the centuries the Church demonstrates the signs of God’s love that continues to work great things in the lives of humble and simple people. Suffering accepted and offered, a sincere and accepted sharing, are they not miracles of love? …. Through all of this we live with a joy that does not forget suffering, but rather embraces it. In this way, the sick and all the suffering in the Church are not just the focus of attention and care, but first and foremost the central persons in the journey of faith and hope, witnesses of the greatness of love, of the paschal joy that flowers from the Church and from the Resurrection of Christ.” — Benedict XVI
Let us think about the Pope’s comment about the sick. They are not only the focus of our care and concern, but also the key players, the real witnesses to the divine truth, to divine love. It is in them that God most readily shows Himself, and his plan for salvation.
Let us reverence them, then, in our efforts to lift them from their suffering in today’s world.