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​Healthcare Professionals Mass gives thanks for special gifts God provides for the Church, world

September 10, 2020 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Archbishop, In the Press, Breaking News

Healthcare Professionals Mass gives thanks for special gifts God provides for the Church, world

All medical doctors, nurses, and medical students were thanked for their service and commitment for bring on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic during the annual Healthcare Professions Mass celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, on August 1 at San Fernando Cathedral.

He reminded the attendees that every time they together to celebrate the Eucharist, they gather to worship God, to praise His greatness, His marvelous work, and to offer petitions and sacrifices with a humble heart.

“But also, we come to give thanks for special gifts that God provides for the Church and for the world,” the archbishop continued. “In this very particular occasion, we come in a spirit of thanksgiving for being blessed by your vocation and profession, for the way in which we encounter the healing power of Christ through your hard work.”

The context offered for the celebration of this Mass was like nothing that this generation has experienced before. It is marked by almost half a year of uncertainty, of fear, of feeling powerless in several situations.

“The role you play in God’s world has been challenged like never before since all of us present here today have been alive,” Archbishop Gustavo explained. “This moves us in a special way today to give thanks for your life, for your care, for your sacrifice, for your endurance and for your constant ‘yes’ to continue serving God’s people, even when that has implied a high level of risk to yourselves and the ones you love.”

The Gospel at the Mass was Mark 4:35-41. The San Antonio prelate told listeners that when they hear the passage of the Gospel, they might be surprised by Jesus’ attitude in the midst of the storm. “How can the Lord be so calmly sleeping while his friends, his disciples, are afraid of drowning?”

“We can let our hearts experience this uncertainty, and then bring it to our Lord. Many different reasons could be proposed to answer this question. Surely, we know that it is not about God being careless,” emphasized the Missionary of the Holy Spirit. “Actually, Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples for their lack of faith is not for the fact that they woke him up, but actually it was caused by the way in which they interpreted Jesus being asleep: ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ This is the mental path we should not take. If something is assured to us in Scripture, is that God always cares.”

A Church Father of the fourth century, Cyril of Alexandria, interpreted this: “And so he sleeps, leaving them in fear, in which their senses would be sharpened to perceive the significance of what was to come. For no one feels what takes place in another’s body as acutely as that which happens in his own.”

The archbishop recognized that healthcare professionals tend to be more attuned with the way in which people feel and suffer, and that the pandemic has probably highlighted that quality in their lives. “All of us, but certainly you who have been so close to those who suffer, have experienced an increased vulnerability on a daily basis,” he acknowledged. “By feeling deeply vulnerable, we can get in touch with those who are most vulnerable.”

Pope Francis preached a powerful homily in St. Peter’s Square in the special prayer service for the end of this pandemic. Referring to this passage he said: “The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering.”

In closing, Archbishop Gustavo encourage worshippers to continue showing compassion and solidarity to all those who are sick.

“Our Catholic community is especially praying for all of you. We are proud of the heroic virtues that many of you have clearly shown,” he concluded, praying, “May our Lady of Guadalupe who always reminds us of God’s care, be a sign of hope for all of us, knowing that the saving power of Christ has already overcome the power of death. May all of us be witnesses of this same hope.”

During the concluding rite of the Mass, healthcare professions renewed their promises made in The Oath of Hippocrates.