Today, Monday 11 February, is World Day of the Sick 2019.  This year’s theme chosen by Pope Francis is: “You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin preached a Homily for World Day of the Sick during Sunday Mass in Corpus Christi Parish Church, Drumcondra, yesterday 10 February.

During the introduction, Archbishop Martin said that care of the sick “involves all of society”.  He emphasised: “It involves community and a special form of community that feels the call to be with the sick and to give them something of ourselves and to learn something from them.”

Acknowledging the current struggles facing the healthcare system, the Archbishop of Dublin said: “We come together at a time when confidence in our national health care system is tested in many ways.  Confidence can only be gained through openness.  People want to know honestly why things go wrong and when all is not all right.  The answers will not come from polemics.  Ireland can and should have a world-class health care system.  We have to get on with that.”

During his Homily, Archbishop Martin said: “On this World Day of the Sick we are called as a Christian community not just to hold a prayer service; we are called as a Church community to become a community that reaches out to the sick who so often suffer as much from loneliness than from their specific illness.  We are asked to witness to the care that Jesus had for the sick.”

Referencing the Pope’s chosen theme for this year’s World Day of the Sick, the Archbishop said: “These are words that Jesus used when he sent out his apostles to spread the Gospel.  Jesus’ Kingdom will grow not by words alone but above all through acts of self-giving, gratuitous love.

“In his Message for World Day of the Sick Pope Francis stresses that caring for the sick requires not just professionalism.  It requires a professionalism that is marked by “tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved”.”

Archbishop Martin concluded: “We gather around our sick brothers and sisters in faith and surround them with the prayer of a faith community so that they will never feel isolated or alone and without hope.”

ENDS