Even the most powerful and influential political leader has an ending. There is eventually a closing chapter to the reign of but a mortal figure be this glorious or ignominious. A period is eventually written even to a fairy tale. This is a truism in the life of lowly laborers to that of heads of state. Their coffins may be different. Their graves can be marked or unmarked. But they are all equally dead, burned or buried, finished and done.
The most recent World Day for the Sick annually observed by the Church is directly addressed to both the ill and the healthy. It is in either category that humanity as a whole may be divided. The sick are reminded that God is nearer to them precisely because they need him more. The healthy are advised to care for the sick, to pray for them, to value their own health.
But the same World Day for the Sick also indirectly carries a gentle but firm message, forwards an unpretentious but infallible universal truth. This: Human life is inextricably accompanied by physical death. Reality considered, it is no big news if someone dies—everybody else does. It would be great news if somebody does not die at all—no one lives forever here and now.
The message and truth conveyed by the World Day of the Sick has a particular relevance even to the central socio-political situation obtaining the country today. In the spirit of genuine service, it is good to remind the loyal followers, avid admirers as well as big beneficiaries of the present administration that this too shall pass away. As a matter of course, the same reminder goes to all those who for one reason or another detest, abhor or even hate it. They too shall be eventually freed of their perceived big and heavy yoke in due time.
In other world, there cannot but finally be a period to the present administration—no matter how lovable or undesirable, glorious or ignominious this be in the perception of the rich or the poor, the powerful or the helpless, the perpetrators or victims of injustice. Be it by reason of sickness or by a deliberate option or by operation of law or by social upheaval, as the present administration came so it goes. As it has a beginning, so it has an eventual ending.
The World Day for the Sick is a great reality check. While it is primarily a Church event, its significance and implications transcend races, colors and creed.
12 February 2007