Pope Francis explained the meaning behind the Anointing of the Sick, which "expresses God’s merciful presence to the sick, the suffering and the aged.”
The Pope added that this sacraments allows the Church be close to those who suffer, and that it shows that not even sickness or death can keep people away from God's salvation and love.
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our catechesis on the sacraments, we now turn to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, which expresses God’s merciful presence to the sick, the suffering and the aged.
The parable of the Good Samaritan reflects our Lord’s tender concern for those who suffer; like the Samaritan, and following Christ’s example and teaching, the Church brings God’s healing presence to the suffering through the sacramental sign of anointing with oil.
As we learn from the Letter of James (5:14-15), the early Church continued his ministry to the sick through prayer and anointing by her presbyters.
Through the celebration of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church accompanies us in facing the profound mystery of suffering and death.
In a culture which all too often refuses to speak of these realities, we need all the more to recognize the beauty of this Sacrament and to appreciate, in spiritual solidarity with the whole Church, the presence of the Lord Jesus, who strengthens us in faith and hope, and reminds us that nothing – not even evil and death – can ever separate us from the saving power of his love.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Canada and the United States.
I greet in particular the participants in the World Congress of SIGNIS and the pilgrimage group of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter from the United States.
With affection I greet the alumni and friends of the Pontifical Canadian College on the 125th anniversary of the College’s establishment. Upon all present I invoke joy and peace in Christ our Lord!