And this reading falls upon the popular feast of Saint Blaise, a bishop and martyr for the faith, who tradition says has a special affinity to intercede before the Lord for healing of ailments of the throat, in particular. Our tradition of the sacramental blessing of throats on this day is legendary, and people come seeking that blessing and the healing that it offers in their lives. I shared that blessing of throats during Mass this morning.
On the first Wednesday of each month we in our parish celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick immediately following Mass. We usually get more than the regular morning Mass crew at that Mass, seeking the healing love of Christ in their lives through the intercession and ministry of the Church.
People are hurting today - physically, emotionally and spiritually. The need to come before the Lord and ask for health, to seek restoration and to receive love is greater than ever. The Church is not to be seen as a dispenser of miracles as much as, as Pope Francis has aid, a field hospital that dispenses God's mercy and love. The healing come not from our efforts but rather through the faith of those who hear and experience that love of God by means of our ministry and example.
So, on this feast of Saint Blaise, we pray:
Through the intercession of Saint Blaise,
Bishop and Martyr,
may you be delivered of every ailment
of the throat and body,
and other evil.
in the Name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.