Pope Francis: Through Anointing of the Sick, Jesus gives strength to the patient

by FLL Editorial Team

(CNA) During his Wednesday audience on February 26, Pope Francis gave a brief catechesis on the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, noting that its purpose is to bring Christ close to the recipient.

“Every time we celebrate this sacrament, the Lord Jesus, in the person of the priest, comes close to those who suffer and are gravely ill or elderly,” explained the Pope.

The the biblical image that shows the Anointing of the Sick “in all its depth (and) the mystery that shines through” it is the parable of the Good Samaritan, noted the Pontiff.

“The Good Samaritan takes care of the suffering man, pouring oil and wine on his wounds, ...the suffering person is entrusted to an innkeeper, so that he can continue to take care of him, no expense spared,” continued the Pope.

“Now, what is this inn? It is the Church, the Christian community, it is we to whom every day the Lord Jesus entrusts those who are afflicted in body and spirit, so that we can continue to bestow upon them, without measure, all his mercy and salvation.”

Pope Francis noted that some people have “the idea that when there is a sick person and the priest comes, after (his visit) comes the funeral.” “That is not true!” exclaimed the Pope.

“The priest comes to help the sick or the elderly. This is why it is so important for priests to visit the sick. Call him!” he urged.

“Because it is Jesus who comes to lift up (the sick person), to give him strength, to give hope, to help him. And to forgive his sins. And this is beautiful!"

Read full text: Anointing of the Sick assures nearness of Christ, says Pope