“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. …Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well” James 5: 13-15
Many came with faith for the anointing of the sick on the 2nd day of the Novena to our Blessed mother in conjunction with the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fr. Patrick Massang and his team of Redemptorist priests- Fr. Paul Kee and Fr. John Paul anointed the sick.
In his homily, Fr. Paul Kee, the presider explained that all of us are broken and wounded in some way in this world -through betrayal, death of a loved one, illness, abuse, gossip, unkind words and actions of others. In a hopeful tone, he said, there is an antidote to our brokenness and wounds- it is called Forgiveness. When you forgive and receive forgiveness, you are healed!
He said that Jesus loved all his disciples including Judas. In a Mystery Play at Stratford–upon–Avon that enacted the resurrected Jesus visiting his disciples and being affectionate to them, depicts a scene where Jesus strokes the empty seat of Judas- demonstrating his love for his traitor. Jesus loved Judas and had forgiven him. Unfortunately, Judas did not accept the forgiveness and succumbed to despair. Jesus loves each one of us despite our shortcomings and sin. There is always hope – His mercy never fails.
Fr. Paul Kee further highlighted the Christian virtues of Mahatma Gandhi who was not a Christian but practised fervently the teachings of Christ. When a mob of youths hurled insults at him in South Africa while he was practising as a lawyer, he responded to them as Christ taught ‘ turned the other cheek’. The angry mob eventually relented to his compassionate gaze and let him go.
Fr. Paul Kee, added that Synodal Journey initiated by Pope Francis in 2021 was to support the weak in our church. It was aimed at accepting our weakness, shortcomings and failures and learning to love ourselves. When we learn to accept our shortcomings, we can accept the shortcomings of others in our community. When we learn to love ourselves despite all our weakness, we can love others too. He concluded that we are blessed to have Mary to intercede for us as a mother and journey with us.