Church Fathers, Day 230: Commodianus says the sick need your help, not just sympathy

Church Fathers, Day 230: Commodianus says the sick need your help, not just sympathy March 8, 2015

The sick need your help, not just sympathy

Commodianus tells us that we owe help—not just kind words—to the sick who are in need. God himself will pay us back far more than our help costs us.

If your brother should be weak—I mean a poor man—do not go to visit him empty-handed. Do good in the sight of God. Pay your obedience in money. That will help him recover—or, if he should die, then he will be refreshed, though he has nothing to pay you back with but the Founder and Creator of the world.

Or if you are too squeamish to go visit a poor sick man, then send him some money and something to help him recover.

And in the same way, if your poor sister is ill, have your matrons bring her something to eat. God himself cries out: “Break your bread for the needy!”

You don’t have to visit with words—just with help. It is wicked that your brother should be sick because he does not have enough to eat. He needs food and drink. Do not satisfy him with words.

Look after people who are really weakened, who cannot look after them­selves. Give something to them now. I pledge my word that God will give you back four times as much.

Commodianus, Instructions, 71


Do I know anyone who’s suffering with illness and could use some help?

What help can I give?


Lord, you sent your Apostles forth to heal all disease and sickness. Give me the strength to do your will, and let me be an instrument of healing to the sick among your people.

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