Standing with the Sick

We have all faced times in our own lives or in the lives of our family members and friends when suddenly, often without warning, sickness or disease strikes. At such times, we are often filled with an avalanche of questions and a flood of emotions, especially when we are helpless to assist a person we love very much. At such times, the sick person experiences his or her vulnerability in a deep and profound way and needs to be reassured that they are not alone. Such reassurance can only come from those around them.

I remember when my mother was battling lung cancer, I accompanied her for every chemotherapy treatment she received at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. The doctors, nurses, and staff were simply outstanding in their care for all their patients, including my mother. Nonetheless, those months were filled with questions that I wished I could have answered for my mom and was simply unable to do so. Each day brought new challenges and questions. The only response I could have was to be present to her in a loving, reassuring way. My mother would often remind my sister and me that we are always in God’s hands. Hers was a faith that inspired my faith, despite her personal sufferings.

One day when mom was undergoing treatment, I went down to the cafeteria to get a snack. I accidentally pushed the wrong button on the elevator and found myself entering into the pediatric section of the hospital. Even after I recognized my mistake, I remained on the floor and was overwhelmed by the sight of little children battling cancers and at times, suffering so deeply. It reminded me of the Lord’s saying, “Let the children come to me”. I left that floor with a deep resolve to make sure that such children are never forgotten.

All who are sick, especially our children, need to be reassured, loved and supported in their hour of greatest need. And such support can only come from you and me.

The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos! Do not miss Bishop Frank’s video: What Does it Mean to Stand with Christ?