“Today, the gospel passage tells of the healing of a leper and expresses, with great effectiveness, the intensity of the rapport between God and man, summed up in a stupendous dialogue: ‘If you want, you can heal me!’ says the leper. ‘I do want, be healed’, responds Jesus, touching him with his hand and healing him from his leprosy (Mk 1:40-42). Here we see condensed all the history of salvation: that gesture of Jesus, who stretches out his hand and touches the sore body of the person who invokes him, perfectly manifests the will of God to restore his fallen creation, restoring it to life ‘in abundance’ (Jn 10:10), eternal life, full, happy. Christ is the ‘hand’ of God stretching out to humanity, so that it may emerge from the mobile sands of sickness and death, and get back on its feet on the steady rock of divine love (cfr Ps 39:2-3)”.
The pope added: “Today I would like to entrust to Mary ‘Salus infirmorum’ all the sick, especially those who, in every part of the world, suffer from solitude, misery and marginalization as well as deficiency of health. I also bear particularly in mind those who attend to the sick and engage themselves for their healing. May the Holy Virgin help each one to find comfort in body and spirit, thanks to adequate health assistance and brotherly charity capable of transforming itself into concrete and supportive attention.” And when giving a greeting in Polish, he asked that “considerate love boost the strength of those who bring help to the sick”.”