"Caring for the sick is not an 'optional activity' for the Church."

Pope Francis' words at the Angelus today were marked by the celebration of the World Day of the Sick on February 11.

Maria José Atienza-February 7, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
20201221 Angelus Papa

Photo: ©2020 Catholic News Service/United States Conferences of Catholic Bishops

The Pope referred to the miracle of the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, recounted in today's Gospel, pointing out how "Jesus shows his predilection for people who suffer in body and spirit: it is a predilection of Jesus to draw close to people who suffer both in body and spirit. It is the predilection of the Father, which he embodies and manifests in deeds and words".

Caring for the sick of all kinds is an integral part of the Church's mission, as it was of Jesus'.

The Holy Father also recalled the participation of Christ's disciples in this task of healing of body and soul. "His disciples," he pointed out, "were eyewitnesses, they saw this and then testified to it. But Jesus did not want them to be mere spectators of his mission: he involved them, he sent them, he also gave them the power to heal the sick and to cast out demons.".

In this vein, the Pope emphasized: "Caring for the sick of all kinds is not for the Church an "optional activity", no! It is not an accessory, no. Caring for the sick of all kinds is an integral part of the Church's mission, as it was of Jesus'. Caring for the sick of all kinds is an integral part of the Church's mission, as it was of Jesus'. And this mission is to bring God's tenderness to suffering humanity. We will be reminded of this in a few days, on February 11, the World Day of the Sick".

Pope Francis wanted to recall that the pandemic "makes this message, this essential mission of the Church, particularly relevant".. A message that is interwoven in the human condition itself - so high in dignity - and at the same time so fragile. A paradox to which Jesus responds with a presence that is to be an example for us. "Leaning down to make the other person stand up. Let us not forget that the only lawful way to look at a person from the top down is when you reach out your hand to help them up."said Francis, who asked the Blessed Virgin Mary to give us "help us to allow ourselves to be healed by Jesus - we always need it, all of us - so that we in turn can be witnesses of God's healing tenderness."

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