From the Desk of Father Dave
The Dignity the Sick and Dying
The Book of Genesis tells us the story of the creation of the world. From the very first pages of Sacred Scripture, we are taught that the human family is made in the image of God. Each of us bears within us the beauty of God himself. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that any “cultural discrimination” must be removed because it is “incompatible with God’s design.”
Nevertheless, our society has certain distaste for those who are ill and infirmed. Our society tends to elevate people who are active. We admire and congratulate people for their achievements and positions. We are impressed by the amount of money people have or the types of houses they live in. The opposite of this is that – while we don’t dislike the sick – we are unimpressed by their lives. They seem to accomplish nothing. What good do they do? How can they contribute to the betterment of society? Perhaps we may even think of the sick as a drain on family and society resources.
This attitude is completely opposite to what we are taught by Jesus and the Church. Every person has an innate and profound dignity based, not on his or her health or productivity, but the reality of their being the very image of God. The sick and suffering are our connection with Jesus.
In our society where productivity equals value, the sick teach us that we are dignified not by what we do but who we are. In the sick and suffering we should see the very face of Jesus the suffering servant and the sacrificial victim.