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Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

by Fr. Cusick

(CCC stands for the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Epistle: Galatians 5. 25-26; 6. 1-10. Gospel: St. Luke 7. 11-16

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the Gospels we meet Christ the physician. Do we seek him as physician of our bodies only? Has he become for us a mere earthly Messiah?

Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that :God has visited his people" (Lk 7:16; cf. Mt 4:24) and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; (Cf. Mk 2: 5-12) he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. (Cf. Mk 2:17) His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited me." (Mt 25:36) His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them. (CCC 1503) 

While the Church continues Christ's ministry to the sick in many forms, such as hospitals and hospices for the dying, these works never take first place ahead of the ministry of Christ to forgive. Such is the reason that in the sacrament of anointing of the sick, the priest offers first the opportunity for confession to the ill or dying.

Just as he fled from those who sought to carry him off to make him king, so too, those who seek Christ in prayer for succor only from their earthly sufferings miss his true coming as Yeshua, "he who saves his people from their sins". Our greatest disease and suffering is death, brought into the world by sin. Do we seek him in prayer first for forgiveness? Do we humbly face our sins and seek contrition and confession? This is first and greatest meaning of "go and sin no more, your faith has healed you."

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", 

- Father Cusick  
(See also CCC 994)

Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website