People working in the medical field can be a reminder to their patients that God is walking with, protecting and guiding us, even during our darkest days, said Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre.
He offered the comments at an annual Mass to honor doctors, nurses and others in the medical field. Held this year at the Cathedral of the Assumption on Oct. 15, Archbishop Fabre noted the Medical Mass is celebrated near St. Luke’s feast day.
St. Luke, he said, is the patron of “doctors, nurses and all of those who give themselves so generously.”
In his homily, the archbishop said that those in the medical field are “real agents of the Good Shepherd, living and acting among us.”
Psalm 23 — the Good Shepherd Psalm — reminds us that God offers comfort, healing and hope, the archbishop said.
“The words of Psalm 23 can offer us hope in the Good Shepherd who always provides for us,” he said. “Though I walk in the dark valley, I do not fear because he is with me. … When we experience illness or other medical problems it weighs us down in a particular way. In a sense, it can make us feel powerless.”
However, when doctors and nurses serve their patients, especially when it comes to bedside manner, they can offer hope and a reminder of God’s love to their patients.
“You, dear medical professionals, have the opportunity to bring the light of God’s presence into a challenging situation,” he said. “A simple smile, a word of encouragement can bring the gentle reminder that even in the challenges, the Good Shepherd is walking with us, protecting us and guiding us.”
He reminded his listeners that their role is not just a job but a ministry, and he expressed gratitude for their devotion to the calling.
“Please allow me in the name of a grateful community to express thanks to you for saying yes to God’s call given to you,” Archbishop Fabre said. “I pray that Jesus Christ the Healer of our every ill will continue to bestow upon you the grace of the Holy Spirit so that you can carry out this ministry of bringing compassion and hope to those who face and endure serious illness looking to Christ as the one to guide you in your ministry and in your work and in your decisions.”