Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Romans 14:7-9, 10b-12

In the larger context of the letter to the Romans, the passage below is part of a teaching session by the apostle. Paul is concerned about a community that needs to identify itself with Jesus Christ. Christians have duties to be performed, a witness to the importance of the Lord in their lives.

The specific context here is a message for busybodies. The key phrase in verse 10a is excised, so it becomes for the sick person a general reminder about the context of mortal life in the big picture of the Paschal Mystery.

Three lyrical verses begin the narrative:

None of us lives for oneself,
and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die,
we are the Lord’s.

Then something of a credal statementL

For this is why Christ died and came to life,
that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

And a serious reminder of where every person will find themselves in the end, believer or not, saint and sinner alike:

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
for it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
every knee shall bend before me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.”
So then each of us shall give an account of (themselves) to God.

I can see this passage used at a time of a life-threatening illness. The acknowledgement of God’s power and control might be important for the sick person. Saint Paul doesn’t mince words. Some Christians find blunt honesty appealing, even at the time of death.

This passage is also an option for funerals, as we discussed here. 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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