Sacraments of Healing

Part of the things we bring up with patients when we had our hospital apostolate program before the pandemic was if they wanted to avail of the sacraments. Usually, Catholic patients assent to receive Holy Communion, but most refuse Confession and Anointing of the Sick, which, ironically, are called Sacraments of Healing. Many felt they did not need to confess. Some fear getting anointed because they associate it with dying. The Anointing of the Sick is encouraged for those who are in danger of death from sickness or old age. This includes those who will undergo serious surgery.

In the Gospel, Jesus looked around for the woman who touched Him because He was aware of what had happened. The woman could have kept silent knowing that she had already been physically healed, and yet, despite her fear, she fell before Jesus and confessed the truth. She was probably expecting a rebuke, but Jesus lauded her for her faith and bid her peace. Today’s Gospel is a reminder that we should not be afraid to approach Jesus, especially in the sacraments. They are visible signs of God’s grace. When we confess our sins to a priest, we humble ourselves before God’s mercy and healing grace. When we receive the Anointing of the Sick, we unite ourselves with Christ’s passion. Jesus desires to heal both our bodies and souls. He knows what kind of healing we need. But like the woman suffering from hemorrhage in the Gospel, Jesus offers peace to those who meet Him in the sacraments with faith.

By: Sem. Richard Anthony Lim

Today’s Gospel

Mk 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

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