HOMILY BY BISHOP LARRY DUFFY AT
THE MASS OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK,
BASILICA OF ST PIUS X, LOURDES,
9 July 2019
‘In celebrating the Sacrament of the Sick, Jesus Christ still reaches out in love and care to all in need of healing. He invites us to offer our suffering with his.’ – Bishop Larry Duffy
We come here together in Lourdes to pray, to ask for healing. Through Mary, we place our needs before Jesus the physician and healer.
Good health is a blessing; a blessing to be appreciated, not to be taken for granted.
As I get older and more conscious of health, I sometimes feel sorry for young people who smoke or drink too much or who don’t take sufficient care of themselves. The bill for this may arrive later.
Illness and advancing years are not easy, they challenge us. They can colour one’s experience of life.
The Gospel passage we have just heard (Mark 10:46-52) shows Jesus reaching out in love and care to a blind man, Bartimaeus. His encounter with Jesus was to change his life. His sight was restored and he became a disciple of Jesus. This is but one of the many stories where Jesus brings healing by word or touch.
But Jesus did not banish all illness and suffering. No, instead, he took on the road of suffering himself. Yes, it is through his death and resurrection that he redeemed mankind.
In celebrating the Sacrament of the Sick, Jesus Christ still reaches out in love and care to all in need of healing. He invites us to offer our suffering with his.
Yes, in celebrating this beautiful Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick here at Lourdes, we pray with each other in solidarity; we pray to God through the intercession of Mary our Mother and also through the intercession of St Bernadette who endured much ill-health and suffering in her short lifetime. We pray that she intercedes in the halls of heaven for us; that we will have healing and peace.
Finally, we pray for all the medical and nursing staff – and all the helpers – who care for the ill. We thank you for your faithful solidarity with those who are unwell. We are especially grateful to the members of Clogher don Óige for all your help and generous service over these days.