By Leslie Ann Aquino
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC) has called for “renewed vigor” especially when it comes to the Church service to the sick.
CBCP-ECHC Bishop Patricio Buzon said this in time for the 26th World Day of the Sick on February 11.
“The Church service to the sick and those who care for them must continue with renewed vigor, in fidelity to the Lord’s command,” he said in a letter addressed to the bishops.
The Bacolod bishop then urged every archdiocese, diocese and prelature to mark the occasion by giving importance to the sick and health care workers through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with sick members of the community and health care workers in hospitals and in parishes.
“With Mother Mary’s tender love, we wish to entrust all those who are ill in body and soul, that she may sustain them in hope,” Buzon said.
“With Mary’s guidance, may our prayers see us united in an incessant plea that every member of the Church may live with love the vocation to serve the life and health,” he added.
Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Manila-Ministry on Health Care in coordination with the Philippine Association Sovereign Military Order of Malta marked the World Day of the Sick at the Manila Cathedral with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick.
In his homily, Msgr. Esteban Lo, conventual chaplain of the Order of Malta, reminded those who are suffering especially from sickness that God is always with them.
“Those who are sick and are asking…when will we be healed?” he said.
Lo said this to them: In strength or weakness, in sickness or health, Jesus Christ is with us that’s why He is called the Emmanuel.
But he said Christ also calls us to take care, lend support and pray for each other.
During the Mass, priests placed Holy Oil on the forehead and palms of the faithful especially those afflicted with sickness such as those who cannot walk, or those who are suffering from cancer.
The World Day of the Sick is an annual event celebrated tomorrow, February 11 – the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, whose shrine has become a sanctuary of human suffering.
Pope Saint John Paul II initiated the day in 1992 to encourage the faithful to pray for those who suffer from illness and for their caregivers.