Want to spread God’s love to the sick and dying? This ministry might be for you

By Deacon Dr Michael Tan, 4 July 2024
The Diocese's healthcare ministry brings God's love to the sick and dying. Image: Shutterstock


In the Gospels, we find Jesus proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom and healing the sick. Proclamation of the Word and healing of the sick are intrinsically related. Jesus is the sower who sows the seed, just as Jesus is the healer who heals the sick and the dying. What unites the sower and the healer is the mission of Jesus who is sent by the Father, who so loved the world that resulted in Jesus being sent into the world to bring Good News and healing to one and all.

The Good News is expressed in healing actions, just as healing actions are the result of the proclamation of the Good News. This unity of word and action is seen in the unity of love of God and love of neighbour. For example, in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 22:37-38), in response to the question from the Pharisee “which commandment in the law is the greatest?”, we read the response of Jesus – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it – You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

What Jesus did in His public ministry on earth is continued in the healthcare ministry of the Church today. We, the people of God and all the baptised, are called to be a healing presence for the sick and the dying from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. This healing presence has sacramental, pastoral and professional dimensions.

So, when we view the healthcare ministry of the Church in this way, we are not viewing something irrelevant to the ministry of Jesus. In fact, at the heart of the ministry of Jesus is the love of God expressed in setting the oppressed free and healing the sick. In this way, Jesus brings together the sacramental, pastoral and professional dimensions of the healthcare ministry of the Church, for the people of God.

In response to this call to be ministers of the love of Jesus for the sick and the dying, the Diocesan healthcare ministries formation community is hosting a formation morning at Sacred Heart Parish, Mt Druitt South, on Saturday 6 July, at 10am. Morning tea will be served at the conclusion of the session.

At this session, we will have a lay chaplain as well as a general medical practitioner share how they express the call to ‘Love your Neighbour in the Sick and the Dying’ in their professional careers.

All interested in the topic, especially high school students considering a career in the healthcare professions after they leave school, are most welcome to attend this session, where they can meet like-minded colleagues from the range of professional, pastoral and sacramental backgrounds.

A second session will be held in September at St Thomas Aquinas Parish, Springwood.

To register, please contact met@parracatholic.org. For further enquiries, please contact michael.tan@parracatholic.org


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