Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation: Stained Glass Windows at Saint Francis Xavier Church, Burbank, CA

Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation

Today, November 13, the Church celebrates Mother Cabrini, the first citizen of the United States to be canonized. I thought it would be appropriate to offer the next window in this series. The parish church was built on land once owned by Mother Cabrini’s sisters. The parish was named for her name sake, Jesuit priest, Francis Xavier.

Here is the fifth window in the series on the set of nine stained-glass windows from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Burbank, CA. This next window is the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation. I hope you enjoy the series. The text that follows is from a booklet I wrote in 2000 and edited by Jim Fanning. 

These two sacraments of healing serve the Christian community in times of illness, suffering and recognition of sin and forgiveness.

We encounter the healing spirit of Jesus. These window images show the oil of the sick (OI) in the sacrament of anointing and Jesus’ classic parable of the reconciliation, The Prodigal Son. The son comes running home in shabby clothes and the father receives him with open arms. Notice the shadow of the cross and the arms forming the cross shape to recall that all healing and forgiveness is rooted in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.

Icons: Upper Left: Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. We are called to model that gesture in service to all people. The community experiences this action, the healing gesture, every Holy Thursday. Upper Right: The broken heart speaks so clearly of God’s love for us. In our brokenness and pain, we rest here in God’s forgiveness and healing passion for us. We bring here the desires of our hearts. Lower Left: The tears of pain, suffering and loss and tears of healing and rejoicing are human experiences of needing God. This window names our experience of longing for God, claiming our deepest human relationships. Lower Right: The sick bed offers us insight into our own pain and suffering. This scene call us out of ourselves to serve those who are sick and alienated from the community. The sacrament of the sick calls people to prayer and compassion for the sick and dying.

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