The Power and Grace of the Anointing of the Sick


Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

In today's Gospel we heard the words, The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed many who were sick and cured them. In light of these words, perhaps today is a good day to reflect on the power and the grace associated with the Anointing of the Sick. Unfortunately, far too many people have a rather old and tired view of this Sacrament - the last rites. They still look upon its use as that final moment to call the priest before Grandma takes her last breath. Taking this approach has several problems.

First, waiting until the last moment may not give you a realistic opportunity to contact a priest in time, so that he may come and comfort the person who is gravely ill, as well as the person's family. 

Second, too many missed opportunities occur when someone shies away from celebrating this Sacrament of Healing because they do not want to bother Father, who is busy after all, and besides, if it does not take, they think it means they may have to check out of this life early. Finally, it is not something magical, where we get oiled up and all of the dreaded diseases in our body will be gone.

God's grace is real. The Anointing of the Sick is real. May we help those in need of God's healing grace seek out the power found in this often overlooked and misunderstood sacrament within our Church. In it is Jesus himself reaching out to us in our moments of physical weakness, and who does not need the power of God next to him or herself in those moments of pain or anguish.

-fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P