As what happened in last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus asks the same questions to Bartimaeus, the blind beggar as he asked James and John, “What do you want me to do for you?” The apostles, not seeing what they were asking for, ask for glory in the kingdom, one on our Lord’s right and the other on His left. The blind man, seeing who Jesus truly is, asks to be made whole, the very thing that Jesus can and will give. Bartimaeus’s physical sight was impaired, but his spiritual sight was clear. Even before Jesus cured the man, he had already thrown away his cloak, essential for his occupation to hold all the coins he collected while begging, and immediately after he was cured, followed Jesus on the way.
What aspect of our life needs healing? Today, at all the Masses we are celebrating the sacrament of healing, the Anointing of the Sick. As it says in the letter to James, “is there anyone who is sick, let them call for the priests of the Church to lay hands on them, pray over them, and anoint them.” This prayer said in faith will save the sick person and if they have any sins, their sins will be forgiven. In previous years, this sacrament was called extreme unction, preparing one for death. (By the way, don’t wait till the last moments of one’s life to call). Since Vatican II , more emphasis has been put on the healing aspect of the anointing. So if you have some physical or chronic condition, undergoing some surgery, or you have some mental or emotional illness, feel free to celebrate the healing power of this sacrament.
Does it mean that the sacrament always takes away the condition? No, not always, but it does give you the strength and wherewithal to carry that cross of suffering. Someone once said, pain in life is inevitable, suffering is optional. We join all our parishioners who are experiencing those issues in their lives and pray in a special way for their healing.
Today is also World Mission Sunday. We pray for the many women and men who bring the Gospel to the poor and people in Third world countries, especially our own sister parish in Peoria Peru.
Love, Peace, Joy,