Preaches homily at Mass concluding annual conference of the Catholic Medical Association in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA, PA. – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, called on Catholic medical professionals gathered in Philadelphia Saturday evening for their commitment to “the healing of our culture.” “Indeed,” Archbishop Broglio said, “the violence so prevalent in our society also finds its roots in the failure to honor and reverence life from conception until natural death. If we can arbitrarily end life at some point in the natural cycle, how do we teach the sacredness of life to an unbalanced gunman in Oregon or the perpetrator of violent crimes somewhere else?”
Archbishop Broglio spoke to an all-pews-filled congregation at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in a homily during the concluding Mass of the Catholic Medical Association’s 84th annual education conference. More than 500 physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals, along with some military personnel, attended the Oct. 1-3 conference, which came on the heels of Pope Francis’s visit to the City of Brotherly Love last week for the World Meeting of Famlies. Some twenty priests concelebrated the solemn Mass with Archbishop Broglio, and three deacons assisted.
Drawing on the Sunday readings, Archbishop Broglio urged the health care providers to follow the teaching of Jesus and be as humble as children while committing themselves to self-sacrifice in service to the sick and the “wounded culture.” Here follows excerpts from the text of Archbishop Broglio’s homily:
“The September issue of The Pulse, the monthly publication of the Catholic Medical Association, refers to medicine as a family matter. Personally, I love to tell gatherings of health professionals that I owe my existence to medicine and not because I was healed of some disease. In 1933 a young resident noticed a younger nurse who was getting an x-ray. Six years later they wed each other. I am their fifth and last child.
“Therefore, it seems singularly appropriate to me that we hear a ringing message about the matrimonial commitment at the conclusion of your conference on healing the wounded culture. From a spiritual viewpoint, that healing takes place through sound commitment, an understanding of sacrifice, and the example of children.
“How appropriate that you have gathered in Philadelphia at the very conclusion of the World Meeting of Families to consider the healing of our culture. Last Sunday just across the way we heard Pope Francis inspire us with these words: “We renew our faith in the word of the Lord which invites faithful families to this openness. It invites all those who want to share the prophecy of the covenant of man and woman, which generates life and reveals God! May the Lord help us to be sharers in the prophecy of peace, of tenderness and affection in the family. May his word help us to share in the prophetic sign of watching over our children and our grandparents with tenderness, with patience and with love.” (Pope Francis, Homily at the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, 27.IX.15.)
“Commitment is something you understand. Like Dr. Lane in The Pulse, I remember riding with and later driving my father to his Sunday rounds. If he had patients hospitalized he never failed to visit them every day. Later I witnessed his concern and not a few sleepless nights when a patient was seriously ill.
“Commitment requires a giving of self. Christ the Lord does not hesitate to set commitment before us when He teaches about that fundamental relationship in our society. His example must inspire spouses and urge them to live fully the grace of marriage, even to the point of the utmost generous love…..
“Of course, commitment is not easy. You all know that. You learned it in medical school or in the reality of the nursing profession or in the example of countless other health-related careers. At some point our society must rediscover that commitment brings spiritual and emotional health, but it requires a giving of self. The almighty “I” must cede its centrality to a “we” and open itself to Almighty God….
“Even the Risen Lord, whom we honor and celebrate every Sunday, presents His glorified body with the marks of the passion and death. There can be no Easter without Good Friday and the passion and death of the Messiah find meaning in the Resurrection. As you minister to those in the throes of their suffering, you offer that healing touch in the image of the Divine Healer who never turned away from those most in need. Pope Benedict XVI remarked that “It is important not to leave them abandoned and in solitude while they try to face a very delicate moment in their life. Praiseworthy are those who with patience and love place their professional skills and human warmth at their service… In the face of every human being, and still more if tried and disfigured by sickness, shines the Face of Christ, who said: ‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ (Mt 25: 40.) (Pope Benedict XVI, Address for Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11.II.07.)
“It is a value not easily perceived in our world where entitlement is the rule. The tee shirt is given to you for showing up and everyone gets a trophy. That method is not instructive and fails to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s reality…..
“The Lord uses the child as a model for us, because He calls us to be amazed continually by His presence, love, and power in our contemporary world. As you conclude three days of study, conversation, and consideration of our wounded culture, ask the Lord for the openness of a child, His child, ever eager to grow in faith and to make use of the talents received to heal. Much has changed in medicine in the decades since 1933, but healing still relies on sound commitment, sacrifice, and the openness of a child. May you experience the healing of the Risen Lord and transmit it to those you serve.”