Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The sick person as "minister of the celebration of the power of God that acts in weakness"

"the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, by impressing a messianic seal upon the person who receives it, prepares him to become [a] minister of the celebration of the power of God that acts in weakness, and, so, to become, for the whole people [of God, a] sign and instrument of this essential paschal truth among [them] all."

     Jean-Pierre Batut, "De la nature à la gloire, la grâce de la maladie," Communio:  revue international catholique 39, no. 3 (mai-juin 2014:  104 (97-107).
it is not by any of his acts of power that [Jesus] saves us, but precisely in and through his impotence.  If he is our great [high] priest, this is not despite his weakness, but inasmuch as [he is] 'enveloped in weakness' (perikeitai astheneian), as the Epistle to the Hebrews puts it (5:2).  It's not just that he is 'not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses' (4:15), but that weakness is the priestly garment [(vêtement)] in which he is clothed [(revêtu)] in order that he might consummate his offering. . . . [So] if [the sick person] is united with Christ, the state of sickness becomes [the] sacramental grace of participation in his salvific weakness, causing the sick person to pass over from the resources of his nature to the hope of glory in the blessed resurrection.
     Thus, just as in baptism the duel of one with death becomes [the] victory of life to the benefit of all, [so] in the sacrament of the sick the combat of one against sickness and against the death that it prefigures becomes for the multitude a participation in the sacrifice of the cross. . . .

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