Pope Benedict’s message for this year’s World Day of the Sick encourages us to “Go and Do Likewise,” and proposes that we use the exemplary figure of the Good Samaritan in Luke’s gospel as a point of reference for this theme. As a response to this appeal, we spent a day of prayer and sharing as we commemorated this special occasion on February 11, feast of our Lady of Lourdes.
Since our Home usually marks this feast with the celebration of the “sacrament of healing,” we had the anointing of the sick for our elderly Residents during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that day. In the afternoon, a Little Sister gave us an insightful talk about the Good Samaritan and the love he showed his neighbor on his journey to Jericho. She then invited us to embark on our own journey to a better awareness of the Samaritan’s role in our lives by walking in his footsteps. All the participants walked through the hallway where different spiritual quotes and reflection questions were posted at different stations. Through the journey, individual prayer intentions could be added to a colorful prayer chain, qualities of being a Good Samaritan were identified, people we admired were acknowledged as Good Samaritans and thank you cards could be written to them. At the end of the journey, refreshments were served in Jericho.
May the graces and blessings of this day have a lasting impact on each of us from where we could draw “the strength to live day by day with concrete concern, like that of the Good Samaritan, for those suffering in body and spirit who ask for our help, whether or not we know them and however poor they may be” (Pope Benedict XVI).