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Pray with Pope Francis Reflection - July 2024

Fr. Edmund Lo, SJ

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

My brothers and sisters: In this month of July, Pope Francis asks us to pray for the pastoral care of the sick, that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick confer to those who receive it and their loved ones the power of the Lord and become ever more a sign of compassion and hope for all. 
Pastoral care of the sick provides us with the time and place to meet others in times of their greatest need, when they feel the most vulnerable. The sacrament of the anointing is a powerful way to receive the graces of God during this critical time.  
We hear from the Holy Father that this sacrament confers “the power of the Lord” to the sick and their loved ones. Being anointed with oil reminds us that God’s healing power is not a mind game; his consolation gives us comfort in tangible ways. 
Yet, God’s graces can also help us in an inner healing, on the level of the heart. When I begin to think that God is not with me in my pain and agony, and that nobody cares, then it is a sign of the need for inner healing. 
Not only does Jesus Christ heal; it is by his wounds on the Cross that we are healed. Suffering is not meaningless because Jesus has gone through it and redeemed it; we are not alone in our suffering because we are being united to Jesus on the Cross. All of these teach us and enable us to “suffer well”, because we are imitating the life of Christ by doing so. 
My brothers and sisters: Let us learn to open our hearts to receive God’s graces especially when we are sick. May God bless you today.
Watch previous Pray with Pope Francis videos here.

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