Anointing of the Sick

Anointing of the Sick

If you would like to receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, please call the parish office 402-558-2255

By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them, and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ. [CCC 1499]

Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. [CCC 1500]

Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him. [CCC 1501]

Christ’s compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that “God has visited his people” (Lk 7:16) and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. (Mk 2:17) His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: “I was sick and you visited me.” (Mt 25:36) His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them. [CCC 1503]

Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. (Mk 5:34) He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, (Mk 7:32) mud and washing. (Jn 9:6-7) The sick try to touch him, “for power came forth from him and healed them all.” (Lk 6:19) and so in the sacraments Christ continues to “touch” us in order to heal us. [CCC 1504]

The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient. The Sacrament may be repeated if the sick person recovers after the anointing but becomes ill once again, or if, during the same illness, the person’s condition becomes more serious. A person should be anointed before surgery when a dangerous illness is the reason for the intervention (cf. Rite of Anointing, Introduction, nos. 8-10).

Moreover, “old people may be anointed if they are in weak condition even though no dangerous illness is present. Sick children may be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be comforted by this sacrament. . . . [The faithful] should be encouraged to ask for the anointing, and, as soon as the time for the anointing comes, to receive it with faith and devotion, not misusing the sacrament by putting it off” (Rite of Anointing, nos. 11, 12, 13).

Resources (from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops):
Anointing of the Sick: Joined to Christ, Witnesses of Hope and Healing  (Also available en Espanol)  – This short, two-page handout can assist your reflection on this sacrament, through which the Church carries out Jesus’ mission of compassion and healing.  By uniting their suffering to Christ, those who are sick can also be signs of faith and witnesses of Christ’s resurrection to the entire community.

Apr 30, 2017 | Share this on: