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Why should the Church take special care of the sick?

Jesus shows us: Heaven suffers with us when we suffer. God even wants to be rediscovered in “the least of these my brethren” (Mt 25:40). That is why Jesus designated care of the sick as a central task for his disciples. He commands them, “Heal the sick” (Mt 10:8), and he promises them divine authority: “In my name they will cast out demons; … they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk 16:17-18).

One of the distinctive characteristics of Christianity has always been that the elderly, the sick, and the needy are central to it. Mother Teresa, who cared forthose who were dying in the gutters of Calcutta, is only one in a long series of Christian women and men who have discovered Christ precisely in those who were marginalized and avoided by others. When Christians are really Christian, a healing influence goes out from them. Some even have the gift of healing othersphysically in the power of the Holy Spirit (the charism of healing).

Dig Deeper: CCC section (1506-1510)

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