Terminally Ill. That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters.
This month’s prayer intention is appropriate for October, Respect Life Month. Our culture tends to see the terminally ill as a burden. There’s this attitude: “They’re going to die soon anyway; why not euthanize them?” (Truth be told, we are all going to die sooner or later.)
We like to disguise the fact that we are talking about killing another person. We call it euthanasia (Greek for good death) or mercy-killing. If we cannot kill a person’s pain directly, this logic goes, we should kill the person, as if pain is the ultimate enemy.
In February 2009, Pope Benedict called euthanasia “a false solution to the drama of suffering, a solution unworthy of man. Indeed, the true response cannot be to put someone to death, however “kindly,‟ but rather to witness to the love that helps people to face their pain and agony in a human way. We can be certain that no tear, neither of those who are suffering nor of those who are close to them, is lost before God.”
This month‟s prayer intention expresses our two obligations toward the terminally ill. First, we must support them in the faith that every human life from conception to natural death is sacred. We support them by helping them find meaning in their suffering.
With the bishops of the Second Vatican Council, we can say to them: “You are the brothers and sisters of the suffering Christ, and with him, if you wish, you are saving the world.” For when we unite our sufferings to Christ, we contribute to the ongoing salvation of the world.
Our second obligation to the terminally ill, whether family members or strangers, is to give them compassionate care, as the Samaritan did for the wounded stranger on the roadside. What we do for those who are sick, we are doing for Christ.
How have I experienced the redemptive value of suffering in my own life? How can I help others find meaning in their sufferings?
Luke 10: 29-37 Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelization
with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches.
On the 23rd of this month we celebrate World Mission Day. In his message for this day, Pope Benedict reminds us this day is not an “isolated moment” in the Church year, but an opportunity to reflect how we live our missionary vocation throughout the year.
All of us, the contemporary followers of Christ, are called to share our gift of faith. The Holy Father reminds us: “The Gospel is not an exclusive possession of whoever has received it but a gift to share, good news to communicate.” If we truly know of God‟s deep love revealed in Jesus, we won‟t be able to keep this good news to ourselves. We will be on fire to share the faith and to do everything possible to support those who do this as their full-time ministry, especially in places far from home.
“Continuous proclamation of the Gospel, in fact, also invigorates the Church,” Pope Benedict said in his message. When we do the Church‟s work of evangelization, we grow stronger in our own faith. According to Pope Benedict, the proclamation of the Gospel “is the most precious service that the Church can render to humanity.”
Let us join Pope Benedict in praying for the success of this annual celebration of evangelization. May we all have a passion for spreading the Gospel that leads us to do something concrete—support the work of the missions in the poorest countries through prayer and contributions.
In Pope Benedict‟s words, “May World Mission Day revive in each one the desire to go and the joy of going.”
What elements of the faith do I find most exciting? What are ways that I can share those with others either through what I say or what I do?
Luke 24: 13-35 The two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Prayer of the Month
Lord Jesus Christ, you chose to share
our human nature to redeem all people.
Look with compassion on your
servants who are suffering from terminal
illness. Support them with
your power, comfort them with your
protection, and give them the
strength to fight against evil. Since
you have given them a share in your
own passion, help them to find hope
in suffering, for you are Lord for
ever and ever. Amen.
—adapted from Pastoral Care of the Sick