Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Luke 7:19-23

When a believer is sick or dying, for whom will she or he look? People look in several places–doctors, family, God, a close friend or loved one. They might possibly turn to superstitions and illogical things. It’s only human.

Many early Christians were focused on the person of Jesus. The Gospel writers were single-minded in their acknowledgement that Jesus was the fulfillment of Isaiah 61. A self-examination might muse over the question, “What do you want me to do for you?” And we might say, “I want to be healed. I want to be free.”

Luke previously touched on that promise from Isaiah 61 when reporting on Jesus’ proclamation in the synagogue.

A brief episode a few chapters later in the book finds the son of Elizabeth making a query:

John (the Baptist) summoned two of his disciples
and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
When the men came to him, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?’”
At that time he cured many of their diseases,
sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And he said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight, the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

Two questions: Why does Jesus offer a single beatitude? And why would someone–possibly the Baptist’s disciples–find Jesus’ ministry offensive? Jesus self-describes his mission as addressing the ailments of life and death. Twenty centuries hence, do we still seek him for this?

For an in-depth treatment of the Pastoral Care rites, check this page that outlines our examination from a decade ago.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Pastoral Care of the Sick, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

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