Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula presided over the celebration of the Holy Eucharist to mark the 30th World Day of the Sick at the National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangel on February 11, 2022, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, at 9 a.m.
The theme for the celebration was, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
In his homily, Cardinal Advincula focuses on the message of Pope Francis for the 30th celebration of World Day of the Sick to consider the poor and the marginalized who do not enjoy the benefits of healthcare in the country.
He as well commended all those who work in the medical profession and institutions and those who helped and bravely dedicated their service to the people in order to care for them especially during the time of the pandemic.
“For his part, in his message for this year’s celebration, Pope Francis puts a spotlight on those who are still denied easy, equal and full access to healthcare on the one hand. And the medical institutions, religious missionaries, scientists and health care workers who have served us through different health crises on the other hand,” said Cardinal Advincula.
The Archbishop of Manila also recognized the pains and sufferings of the sick people that even if they are surrounded and cared for by their families, the sick person said the Cardinal is the only one who truly understands what they are going through.
“They not only suffer the physical pain of their malady, but also the psycho-emotional and spiritual torment of the fear, anxiety, uncertainty and despair associated with their disease. Even if their loved ones surround them and care for them twenty-four-seven, sickness is a very personal and private affair,” said Cardinal Advincula.
“The sick person is the only one who fully understands, feels and bears the brunt of his or her illness,” he added.
Citing our experiences of isolation and quarantine during the pandemic, Cardinal Advincula asked the faithful to make use of it to have a broader understanding of our sick brothers and sisters.
“Our own experience of pandemic quarantine and isolation should make this easy to understand. We are thus prompted to be more sensitive and patient too, and understanding of the sick among us and to extend to them a more comprehensive consideration and accompaniment way beyond the physical. Imitating Jesus, may our hearts be moved with great compassion for them,” Cardinal Advincula said.
The archdiocesan celebration of the 29th World Day of the Sick was organized by the Ministry on Healthcare headed by Fr. Manuel Abogado in coordination with the Philippine Association Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
The World Day of the Sick is celebrated annually by the Catholic Church every February 11. It was initiated by St. John Paul II on May 13, 1992. The feast coincides with the Commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes. (Jheng Prado|Photo by Fatima Llanza/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)