Mass for the Sick at the Home of Our Lady of Sorrows
JERUSALEM – Sunday, February 8, 2015. On the occasion of the XXIII World Day of the Sick, a Mass was celebrated by Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar at the Home Our Lady of Sorrows in Abu Dis, a home that welcomes, cares for and supports the elderly and the sick. Some were able to receive the Sacrament of the Sick hands of the bishop.
A Mass was celebrated in response to the World Day of the Sick, dedicated this year by Pope Francis under the theme of “Wisdom of the heart”, and defined by the Pope as a “way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and the hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God”: it means serving “our sick brothers and sisters”, “being with them”, going “out of oneself” to them and finally being “in solidarity with them without judging them.” There is an entire program of service, in love and compassion that is lived daily by the sisters, staff and volunteers at the House of Our Lady of Sorrows, located at the foot of the separation wall in Abu Dis, which hosts in total forty five elderly and sick, of all faiths.
The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Shomali, and concelebrated by Fr. Sleiman Samandar, in the presence of forty sick and elderly of the house, with some neighbors and sisters from different communities.
The music and liturgical service of the ceremony were provided by seminarians from Beit Jala.
During the Mass, many elderly or sick people received the Sacrament of the Sick. Bishop Shomali during his homily recalled the three main effects of the sacrament: “helps bear suffering in communion with that of Christ,” “forgiveness of sins”, and finally “physical healing that requires the faith of the patient and that of his/her community, or one of the two.” “Physical healing is not always present, said the bishop, unlike the first two mentioned effects of grace.”
Many other masses were celebrated, on the occasion of the Day, this weekend in the diocese. Each year, the faithful flock to receive with faith and devotion the Sacrament of the Sick, the sacrament of the Lord’s presence alongside those who suffer and endure the ordeal of illness or old age. A sacrament which also redounds to the relatives who suffer from the remoteness caused by hospitalization or family disruption due to illness.