Christ the physician
Christ’s compassion toward the sick and his many heal-
ings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that “God has
visited his people”
and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand.
Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins;
has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician
the sick have need of.
His compassion toward all who suffer goes
so far that he identifies himself with them: “I was sick and you
His preferential love for the sick has not ceased
through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Chris-
tians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source
of tireless efforts to comfort them.
Often Jesus asks the sick to believe.
He makes use of
signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands,
The sick try to touch him, “for power came forth from
him and healed them all.”
And so in the sacraments Christ
continues to “touch” us in order to heal us.
Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows him-
self to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own:
“He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
But he did not
heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the
Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the
victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross
Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away
the “sin of the world,”
of which illness is only a consequence. By
his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a newmeaning
to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with
his redemptive Passion.
5:34, 36; 9:23.
1:41; 3:10; 6:56.