Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Romans 8:14-17

Why do people suffer? People have struggled with this all through the ages. Remember the question addressed to Jesus in John 9:2, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?

When misfortune comes to an adult, it could be random, but often it is due to natural consequences. A person drives an automobile dangerously; a crash results in injury. A person smokes; heart and/or lung disease results. A person engages in violent behavior; they are maimed in a weaponized battle.

Sometimes an infant is born with a debilitating condition, or an innocent child suffers from disease. Who to blame then? Parents? This brings us to a brief passage from Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans. We are children of God, not children of sin. We have been grafted into God’s family. God witnesses to this reality:

For those who are led by the Spirit of God
are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery
to fall back into fear,
but you received a spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit itself bears witness
with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

In this coming weekend’s gospel reading, Jesus’ reply to the disciples’ question is this:

Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. (John 9:3)

It seems that God does not desire our infirmities just to prove a point. Rather, the occasion of suffering permits us to unite ourselves with the suffering of Christ. Even if it may be hard to believe or note in the midst of illness, we have the promise of future glory.

This is a good reading for a confident Christian, one who can be reminded of their union with Christ as sister or brother in the family of the Father.

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.

1 Response to Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Romans 8:14-17

  1. Pingback: Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Romans 8:18-27 | Catholic Sensibility

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