Category Archives: Pastoral Care of the Sick

Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 109

The vehemence of Psalm 109 sparked my prayer recently. It is one of the major imprecatory psalms we discussed here two months ago. After the curses and ill-wishes, there is a tenderness in the appeal to God. I was wondering … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Luke 22:39-46

The agony in the garden, what an interesting choice for the sick and the dying. Jesus, having completed his farewell discourse, makes a move to do what he frequently does–pray: Then going out he went, as was his custom, to … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: John 15:1-8

An interesting Lectionary choice for Masses for the Sick: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: 2 Kings 20:1-6

In the votive Mass for the sick, we might opt for the story behind the canticle of Isaiah 38. Maybe it’s an easy choice to pair this reading with that lyric in the responsorial psalm slot. I don’t know why … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Acts 28:7-10

In special Masses for the sick, Saint Paul’s witness as a healer is a choice for the liturgy. Strangely, this brief story doesn’t make it into the Pastoral Care rites. As a passage in Acts, it would be assigned “properly” … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10

Way back at the beginning of this month (14th Ordinary Sunday cycle B) we heard this passage, one of the last Saint Paul wrote to his beloved people of Corinth. One of many confessions of the apostle recorded in his … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Matthew 25:1-13

In assembling Scripture readings for the Pastoral Care of the Sick, consultants in Rome chose one of the parables from Jesus’ fifth and final discourse in Matthew’s Gospel. Overall, the teaching in chapters 24 and 25 address final things, especially … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 91: 14-16

It’s not uncommon for a prophet to speak in the name of God. Hardcore critics of Catholic songs and hymns rather object to the assemblies at Mass doing this. That fussbudget attitude has rather faded in the past years, the  … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 91:8-13

Part two of the 91st psalm offers two verses not seen in much in the Roman Eucharistic liturgy: 8 You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see. 9 Because you have the LORD for your refuge … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 91:1-7

Psalm 91: it’s a psalm for Lent. Two of the most-loved post-conciliar songs are paraphrases of it. Just about every church composer has given it a go–and why not? It is a deep expression of trust in the Living God. … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 23

In considering care for people who are dying, the twenty-third Psalm may offer one of the best options. This would surely be true for private prayer–it might be one of the most memorized* passages in all of the Bible. Neil’s … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 121

One of the psalms suggested for prayer at the time of death is the 121st. I find it an underappreciated text. It only appears once in the Lectionary for Sundays and Feasts–the 29th in year C. I found it interesting … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: John 14:1-6, 23, 27

The pastoral care rites designate this reading for people who are dying. It is also one of those most frequently selected for the funeral rites. One need go no further than the first verse to know why. People search for … Continue reading

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Scripture for the Sick or Dying: Psalm 63

In the Bible, longing for God is a frequent theme. In the Christian era, many saints and other figures are known for the same feeling. From his Confessions, consider Saint Augustine’s oft-quoted  “You have made us for yourself, and our … Continue reading

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