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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

377

“Heal the sick . . .”

1506

Christ invites his disciples to follow him by taking up their

cross in their turn.

114

By following him they acquire a new outlook

on illness and the sick. Jesus associates them with his own life of

poverty and service. He makes them share in his ministry of

compassion and healing: “So they went out and preached that men

should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with

oil many that were sick and healed them.”

115

1507

The risen Lord renews this mission (“In my name . . . they

will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

116

) and

confirms it through the signs that the Church performs by invoking

his name.

117

These signs demonstrate in a special way that Jesus is

truly “God who saves.”

118

1508

The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of heal-

ing

119

so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen

Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the

healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that

“my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in

weakness,” and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that “in

my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the

sake of his Body, that is, the Church.”

120

1509

“Heal the sick!”

121

The Church has received this charge

from the Lord and strives to carry it out by taking care of the sick

as well as by accompanying them with her prayer of intercession.

She believes in the life-giving presence of Christ, the physician of

souls and bodies. This presence is particularly active through the

sacraments, and in an altogether special way through the Eucharist,

the bread that gives eternal life and that St. Paul suggests is con-

nected with bodily health.

122

114 Cf.

Mt

10:38.

115

Mk

6:12-13.

116

Mk

16:17-18.

117 Cf.

Acts

9:34; 14:3.

118 Cf.

Mt

1:21;

Acts

4:12.

119 Cf.

1 Cor

12:9, 28, 30.

120

2 Cor

12:9;

Col

1:24.

121

Mt

10:8.

122 Cf.

Jn

6:54, 58;

1 Cor

11:30.

859

430

798

618

1405