Mass Readings: James 5:13-20/Mark 10:13-16

Anointing of the Sick

The beginning of the first reading had a familiar and pleasant ring to it. I heard it many times during my wife Monica’s illness when she was receiving the anointing of the sick. Our pastor was a strong promoter of that sacrament and made it readily available after Sunday Masses. I now have the comforting memory of placing my hand on her shoulder as he placed his hands on her head and we prayed for her.

If you’re at least as old as I am, you remember when the “last rites” were seen as the quick final stop just before the funeral home. Thank God it’s place has been expanded — restored — and the graces, blessings and healings (both physical and spiritual) it offers are so much more readily available.

Prayer: Dear Lord, bless all those receiving care and their caregivers.