Sacrament of the Sick
A sign of life
Some people have the idea that this sacrament is like the sign of death or approaching death or only offered when all hope is lost. In fact the reverse is true: it is a sign of life, the eternal life promised by Jesus Christ, here and now as well as in the future. Christ came to show us how we can have life to the full in whatever situation we find ourselves. His Spirit, active and dynamic in our sickness and frailty as well as in our health and strength, is a real presence. The sacrament of the sick confirms this in a tangible way.
The frailty of old age is recognised too. An older person may not be seriously ill but the years do impose burdens upon the elderly which can be difficult to adjust to and which can make the older person feel isolated and at times lonely. Again this sacrament helps and strengthens the Christians in this stage of life so that they can continue to be an active part of the family of God, for older people have so much to offer younger Christians.