October 20, 2013 A View from the Rectory Window

10.20.13 Pope

How often have we seen an iconic image of Pope Francis embracing someone who is sick or suffering? These images resonate with our understanding of the role of the Pope; but do we see them as reflective of our own responsibility to those who are in need? I am reminded of a story:

In a southern church this Sunday morning, a preacher said, “Anyone with ‘special needs’ who wants to be prayed over, please come forward to the front by the altar.”

With that, a gentleman got in line, and when it was his turn, the Preacher asked, “What do you want me to pray about for you?”

The gentleman replied, “Preacher, I need you to pray for help with my hearing.” The preacher put one finger of one hand in the man’s ear, placed his other hand on top of his head, and then prayed and prayed and the whole congregation joined in with great enthusiasm.

After a few minutes, the preacher removed his hands, stood back and asked, “Sir, tell me, how is your hearing now?”

The man answered, “I don’t know. It ain’t ’til Thursday.”

What I love most about the above story is that the ‘whole congregation joined in with great enthusiasm.’

This Sunday at 2:00pm in the Church of the Resurrection we will pray with our sisters and brothers who come to the Lord with a special need for healing at a Mass for the Anointing of the Sick. I again encourage you to join us. For as I said in the previous week’s View from the Rectory Window, ‘the suffering of one impacts everyone.’ Our Lord invites us all to share in His ministry of compassion and healing and to imitate His preferential love for the sick and for those who suffer. Just your presence is enough for God.

. . . and yes, this will fulfill your Sunday obligation.

Monsignor Peter M. Joyce