FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
A SICK AT HOME
Jesus often meets people who suffer, who are "limited" in their activity and their freedom. It turns out that there is also pain "at home" (in Pedro's). It gives the impression that the disciples had "forgotten" about the sick mother-in-law ... but when they got home they communicated it to Jesus "immediately".
It may be curious to us that, having seen the disciples some of the spectacular cures of the Master, it did not occur to them to mention the mother-in-law.
But this "neglect" is more common than it seems: we do not realize or pay attention to the state of the people closest to us: fever, pain and prostration, discouragement, fatigue, so many discomforts ... . It is also common that, even knowing it, we do not take it very much into account and we take it for granted that they have to behave as if they were wonderfully well, that they collaborate, that they were in a good mood, that they did not disturb more than just ... to understand and excuse their bad temper, their unwillingness to collaborate, their nerves, their determination that we are continually aware of them ... we lose patience, we tell them four things and yet we may be busy and pending in attending and doing « away from home »so many good deeds for others who may need it too.
What we say about prayer is also applicable to dealing with the sick. We often fill ourselves with verbiage: "You'll see how you heal right away." "I have an acquaintance who had the same thing as you, and he got ahead." "You have to be patient and listen to the doctors" (as if the poor patient were not willing to listen to them). "If I were in your place ..." (which is completely impossible because no one can be in someone else's place). Even: "don't complain so much", "have more patience", or "it's not that bad" ...
It is true that these things are said with affection, good intention, and are intended to help, but ... surely silence would be more appropriate. "Jesus approached and took her by the hand." Simply. It is a good teaching for any caregiver or nurse, or for those of us who know of someone who is "in bed." Getting closer. Physically, try to go, be, accompany the sick. It is a gesture of affection that is worth a thousand words. It is not the same as a phone call, or asking someone how he is. Getting closer. And take by the hand. It is another important gesture. When one is having a bad time, how helpful it is to be shaken by the hand, or a kiss on the forehead, or a silent hug. The caresses, the tenderness, the signs of affection never exceed. Especially (but not only) when it comes to older people.
It is true that now shaking hands, touching, giving a kiss, a caress ... are "forbidden things." But as someone has said on the networks: «When we cannot hug the people we love, we can always love them by hugging them with a prayer. Praying for others is a special way of loving them and feeling united to them.
Making the other feel good when he approaches us, attending him, accepting him, welcoming him ... is an important spiritual, evangelical and evangelizing key. The "welcome" should be a very careful aspect in our parishes. But also the personal mood, the right words and attitudes ...
Have a good Sunday, everyone!
P. Yader F. Centeno