Family and disease. The family has always been the nearest hospital

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Trovare-un-ammalato-è-andare-a-trovare-la-propria-malattia-377x500Today we consider one of the conditions common to all families, namely, illness. Many times in the Gospels Jesus meets the sick and heals them. His desire to cure suffering is a central part of his ministry, coming even before observance of the law. He sends his disciples to do the same, giving them the power to heal, and to draw close to the sick, touching their deepest wounds and bringing them peace. The illness of one person can be a severe trial for all family members. As followers of Christ, we are called to pray without ceasing for the sick and dying, and to support families where this is being experienced. So too we must educate children to solidarity with the sick so that they are not anesthetized to the sufferings of others, but rather are capable of helping the ill and of living fully each human experience. May we always give thanks to the Lord for the support of the Church shown to families in times of illness, especially between families themselves.

Holy Father:

Saluto i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti all’Udienza oggi, specialmente quelli provenienti da Scozia, Nuova Zelanda, Cina e Stati Uniti. In particolare, prego per i malati tra i vostri familiari e amici; che il Signore li rafforzi e li sostenga. Su tutti voi e sui vostri cari invoco le benedizioni di pace e di gioia nel Signore Gesù. Dio vi benedica!

I greet the English speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from Scotland, New Zealand, China and the United States of America. I pray especially for all your family members and friends who are ill; may God strengthen and sustain them. Upon you and your loved ones, I invoke the Lord Jesus’ blessings of peace and joy. May God bless you all!