SEEING CHRIST IN ILLNESS AND POVERTY By: Barbie Lu Young

health careLife’s crosses are a universal reality. Man is not spared from the crosses and trials of life. We all suffer in one form or another, whether rich or poor, young or old. However, the patients of Rizal Medical Center are worse off than most because of the two crosses of sickness and poverty that they have to carry.

We, the volunteers of the Health Care Ministry, try as much as possible, to meet their temporal needs by giving free medicines, as well as meet their spiritual needs by instructing them on sound doctrinal values. Helping them to offer their pain to God and to sanctify it, and making sure that they receive the sacraments are two of the main points that we always emphasize. It is usually difficult for them to understand the redeeming value of their sicknesses because most of them can hardly make ends meet, let alone deal with the difficulties of sickness. But, we continue to enlighten them to particularly bear illnesses gracefully and to realize that the sick are God’s favored children.

Six months ago, a mother, burdened with the birth of a baby girl with a tumor in the middle of her face, abandoned said baby because she could not handle the disgrace of the abnormality of her child in addition to her abject poverty and state of penury. In this baby, we see the infant Jesus, born in a manger among the animals, because no home or inn would take Him in. Likewise, in the sick and the poor, we see Christ Himself imploring us to take Him and them into our hearts. He wants you and me to be a “Simon of Cyrene,” to help the sick and the poor carry their crosses, as He says to us: “As you did it to one of the least of these brethren, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

If the Lord moves you to help alleviate the crosses of poverty and sickness that our brethren have to bear and in so doing, emulate Simon of Cyrene, kindly course your donations to the parish office and please indicate that it is for Rizal Medical Center, care of the Health Care Ministry.

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