Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 240.

YOUCAT Question n. 240 - How was “sickness” interpreted in the Old Testament?

(Youcat answer) In the Old Testament sickness was often experienced as a severe trial, against which one could protest but in which one could also see God’s hand. In the prophets the thought appears that sufferings are not just a curse and not always the consequence of personal sin, that by patiently bearing sufferings one can also be there for others.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1502) The man of the Old Testament lives his sickness in the presence of God. It is before God that he laments his illness, and it is of God, Master of life and death, that he implores healing (Cf. Pss 6:3; 38; Isa 38). Illness becomes a way to conversion; God's forgiveness initiates the healing (Cf. Pss 32:5; 38:5; 39:9, 12; 107:20; cf. Mk 2:5-12). It is the experience of Israel that illness is mysteriously linked to sin and evil, and that faithfulness to God according to his law restores life: "For I am the Lord, your healer" (Ex 15:26). The prophet intuits that suffering can also have a redemptive meaning for the sins of others (Cf. Isa 53:11). Finally Isaiah announces that God will usher in a time for Zion when he will pardon every offense and heal every illness (Cf. Isa 33:24).

Reflecting and meditating 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 364) The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit  (Cf. 1 Cor 6:19-20; 15:44-45): Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day (GS 14 § 1; cf. Dan 3:57-80). 

(The next question is: Why did Jesus show so much interest in the sick?)

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