This morning in the Vatican Pope Francis received the participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, whose president is Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski.
“It is true that in suffering no-one is ever alone”, he said, “as God in his merciful love for mankind and for the world also embraces the most inhuman situations, in which the image of the Creator present in every person appears to be obscured or disfigured. Thus was Jesus, in his Passion. … And here, in the Passion of Jesus, there is the greatest school for whoever wishes to dedicate him to the service of his sick and suffering brethren”.
Pope Francis recalled, on the Feast of the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, which will be celebrated tomorrow, how Mary welcomes life on behalf of us all. “Mary offers her very existence, she made herself entirely available for God's will, becoming the locus of his presence, the place in which the Son of God resides”.
He continued, “The experience of fraternal sharing with those who suffer opens us to the true beauty of human life, which includes its fragility. In the protection and promotion of life, in whatever state and condition it may be found, we can recognise the dignity and the value of each single human being, from conception to natural death”.
The Pope concluded by encouraging those present always to keep in mind “the flesh of Christ in the poor, in those who suffer, in children, including those who are unwanted, in people with physical or mental handicaps, and in the elderly”.