Message for World Day of the Sick – Pope Benedict XVI

At the Last Supper, before returning to the Father, the Lord Jesus knelt to wash the Apostles’ feet, anticipating the supreme act of love on the Cross. With this act he invited his disciples to enter into the same logic of love that is given especially to the lowliest and to the needy (cf. Jn 13: 12-17). Following his example, every Christian is called to relive, in different and ever new contexts, the Parable of the Good Samaritan who, passing by a man whom robbers had left half-dead by the roadside, “saw him and had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back’” (cf. Lk 10: 33-35).

Message for World Day of the Sick

I still have in my heart the moment when, during the course of the pastoral visit to Turin, I was able to pause in reflection and prayer before the Holy Shroud, before that suffering face, which invites us to reflect on He who took upon himself the passion of man, of every time and place, even our sufferings, our difficulties, our sins. How many faithful, during the course of history, have passed in front of that burial cloth, which enveloped the body of a crucified man, and which completely corresponds to what the Gospels hand down to us about the passion and death of Jesus! To contemplate it is an invitation to reflect upon what St. Peter writes: ‘By his wounds you have been healed’ (1 Pt 2:24).

No Rest for the Weary

When you’re growing up, you can always count on your Mom to help you feel better when you’re sick. Moms instinctively know how to help their children. It has been said that no thermometer is as accurate as a mother’s hand. There is a lot of truth to that saying. Moms seem to be able to “feel” how well or how sick their children are in a way that surpasses the limits of mere medical instrumentation. When I was sick as a little boy, my mom used to buy me throat lozenges, make soup for me, comfort me, and reassure me that I’d be out playing with the other boys very soon.