VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Jesus’ healing work is continued in the Church through the sacraments, the charity of the community and an understanding of the meaning and value of illness, Benedict XVI is pointing out.
The Pope affirmed this today in St. Peter’s Square before praying the midday Angelus with the faithful gathered there.
He spoke about the Gospel’s account of Jesus curing many sick people, stating that “it invites us once again to reflect on the meaning and value of illness in every situation in which the human being can find himself.”
The Pontiff referred to the World Day of the Sick, which will be celebrated on Feb. 11. He said, “Despite the fact that illness is part of human existence, we never manage to get used to it, not only because sometimes it comes to be burdensome and grave, but essentially because we are made for life, for complete life.”
We think of God as “plenitude of life,” he observed; thus “when we are tested by sickness and our prayers seem in vain, doubt wells up in us and, filled with anguish, we ask ourselves: What is God’s will?”
The answer, said the Holy Father, is found in the Gospel. He explained: “Jesus does not leave room for doubt: God — whose face he himself has revealed — is the God of life, who frees us from all evil.
“The signs of this, his power of love are the healings that he carries out: He thus shows that the Kingdom of God is near, restoring men and women to their full integrity in spirit and body.”
More importantly, he said, we “understand that man’s truest and deepest illness is the absence of God, who is the fount of truth and love.”
Benedict XVI added: “And only reconciliation with God can give us true healing, true life, because a life without love and without truth would not be a true life. The Kingdom of God is precisely the presence of truth and love, and thus it is healing in the depths of our being.”