After the Mass, Benedict XVI blessed the sick and invited everyone to reflect on the experience of illness, pain and the meaning of life – highlighting that it must be lived to the fullest, even in suffering.
This year’s event was dedicated to sick children. The Pope prayed in particular for the "weak and defenceless" and acknowledged how difficult it is to understand suffering from a merely human point of view.
"If we remain speechless before the suffering of adults, what can we say when sickness strikes a young and innocent child? How can we, even in such difficult situations, see the merciful love of God, Who never abandons His children at their time of trial?"
Benedict XVI advised all to address the question of suffering through faith and the Bible, in order to be able to understand it and give it meaning and value.
Faith helps us to recognize that life is beautiful and worth living fully even when weakened by sickness. God created man for happiness and life.
The Pope concluded by saying that life is not a disposable product but a precious treasure to keep and safeguard from its beginning until its natural end.