Peace to you!
This weekend Jesus sends his disciples out and equips them with authority over unclean spirits so they drive out many demons and anoint with oil many who were sick and cure them! Perhaps today is a good opportunity to reflect on the power and grace given in the Sacrament of the Sick and the life-giving power in the proclamation of the Gospel.
The first point about the Sacrament of the Sick I have noticed is that many people do not fully understand what it is. Such people call and ask for “the last rites.” Sadly, many of them wait too long so that by the time the priest arrives the person has already died without receiving the sacrament or they have been left to suffer for a long time without the consolation of the Holy Spirit. This is truly unfortunate because when death is approaching, it is a time when the dying person and their families need God’s help the most and that’s what this sacrament brings: pardon of sins and the consolation and grace of the Holy Spirit!
The Sacrament of the Sick is intended to serve the needs of those who are seriously ill, preparing for surgery, struggling with a chronic condition, in the event of serious spiritual need, when a poor condition worsens or to alleviate the gravity of old age. The various forms of mental illness are also alleviated through this sacrament as well as persistent grief or depression due to grief.
It is important for everyone to understand that the sacraments are for the living; not the dead. When a serious condition begins, it is time to ask for this sacrament.
I make an effort to make this sacrament available every Friday after the 12 noon Mass and frequently provide it after Mass on Saturdays and Sundays right in my office.
If you have need of it please ask for it and if you know someone who needs it, please speak to them about it first then contact me. If you are not sure if you should receive this sacrament or not, simply ask whether or not you should. May God continue to bless you in every way! +++ Fr. Peter