Sacraments of Healing


One time, Jesus went to a banquet. Many sinners shared the meal with Jesus and his followers. When the Pharisees saw what happened, they complained to Jesus' followers, "Why does your Teacher share meals with such people?"

Jesus overheard their question. So he replied, "Healthy people don't need a doctor. The sick do! Go and learn what the Bible saying means, 'I don't just want people's worship. I want them to treat others with compassion!.' I didn't come to help the good people. I came to help sinners turn to God!"

Based on Matthew 9:10-13

What kind of doctor is Jesus? He treats our minds and hearts. And he heals our bodies. Jesus gave the Church the same ministry. Care for the mind and heart in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Care for the body in the Anointing of the Sick.

Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus heals our minds and hearts from sins after Baptism. The word "reconcile" means "to become friends again." If sins injure (or end) our friendship with God and others (that is, his Church), this sacrament will help repair them. It forgives sins.

During Reconciliation, a person first thinks about the sins he or she has committed. And feels sorrow for them. This is called an "Examination of Conscience."

Next, the person confesses these sins to a priest, who represents Jesus and the Church. The person also tells God he or she is sorry in an "Act of Contrition." And makes up his or her mind to turn back to God and try to undo the damage done in a penance.

Finally, the priest sees the person is sorry and declares his or her sins are forgiven with a prayer of absolution.

Imagine what you would feel like if Jesus forgave your sins. You might feel free and at peace with others. You might feel an inner strength, an additional power to say "No" to evil. You might even feel you had many friends: God and other Christians. Many people have these feelings after they receive Reconciliation. You can, too!

Anointing of the Sick

Once, a blind beggar sat alongside the road. When the he heard Jesus of Nazareth was walking by, the beggar shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

"Be quiet!" many in the crowd whispered to the him.

"SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" the beggar shouted even louder.

Jesus stopped and said, "Call the man over here."

"Hey! Get up! Jesus is calling for you," many in the crowd said to the beggar.

The beggar threw off his coat, jumped up, and went to Jesus. Jesus answered the man's request with a question. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked the beggar.

"Teacher," the beggar replied, "I want to see."

"Go," Jesus said, "your trust in me has cured you." At that very moment, the beggar could see again. So, he followed Jesus on the way.

Based on Mark 10:46-52

The blind beggar had faith in Jesus. And Jesus healed him. As Christians, we are to trust Jesus with all our problems, especially our illnesses. Through the Anointing of the Sick, Jesus offers healing to those who have a serious illness. This healing might be physical or spiritual. But Jesus does comfort the sick through the sacrament.

In the Anointing of the Sick, the priest anoints the hands of and forehead of the sick person with oil, while he prays for health. As a result, the person might feel an inner peace and strength. He will be reminded that Jesus understands the pain he suffers, because Jesus died on the cross. The person's sins will be forgiven. The person who is close to death can prepare to enter heaven. And, if God wants it to happen, the person's body will be healed.

Jesus taught in the synagogue and healed the man possessed by a demon. Then, Jesus and his followers left the synagogue. Along with James and John, they entered the house where Simon and Andrew lived. But, Simon's mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever. At that moment, they told Jesus about her. Jesus went to where she was laying down, took her by the hand, and raised her. The fever left her and she took care of them.

Based on Mark 1:29-31

Why does Jesus offer us healing? To help us believe, like the blind beggar. And to give us the strength to serve others, like Simon's mother-in-law. Healing is meant to bring us closer to Jesus and others.