Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Enriched by the grace of the Great Jubilee and by contemplation of the mystery of the incarnate Word, in which human pain finds "its supreme and surest point of reference" (Salvifici doloris, n. 31), the Christian community is preparing to celebrate the Ninth World Day of the Sick on February 11, 2001.
The Day ... will encourage the many priests, religious and lay believers who seek to respond in the Church's name to the expectations of sick people, while paying special attention to the weakest and those struggling the most, in order to ensure the victory of the culture of life over the culture of death everywhere...
In expressing my affectionate solidarity to those who are suffering, I invite them to contemplate with faith the mystery of Christ crucified and risen, in order to discover God's loving plan in their own experience of pain.
Only by looking at Jesus, "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Is 53:5), is it possible to find serenity and peace.
On this World Day of the Sick, whose theme is The New Evangelization and the Dignity of the Suffering Person, the Church intends to stress the need to evangelize in a new way.
Hospitals, centers for the sick or the elderly and every institution which cares for the suffering are privileged areas for the new evangelization, which must be committed to making the Gospel message of hope heard precisely in these places.
Christ is the Savior of every person and of the whole person. For this reason the Church never tires of proclaiming Him, so that the world of illness and the search for health may be enlivened by His light.
It is important ... that at the beginning of the third Christian Millennium a new impetus be given to the evangelization of the world of health as a place particularly suited to becoming a valuable laboratory for the civilization of love.
Proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel of life and hope with generous dedication. Proclaim that Christ is the comfort of all who are in distress or difficulty; He is the strength of those experiencing moments of fatigue and vulnerability; He is the support of those who work zealously to assure better living and health conditions for everyone.
(Message for World Day of the Sick, issued August 22, 2000)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com