The Anointing in The Context of Iacob 5
Healing and care for the sick has always been a main concern of the Church. Even during His ministry on earth, Jesus Christ not only did He Himself heal many of the sick, but He sent forth His disciples to continue His work. The Catholic Epistle of James contains one of the earliest references of the Church’s care for her members in this regard. The anointing of those who lost their bodily and/or spiritual health is one of the oldest sacraments of the Church. Unfortunately, in modern times, anointing has come to be thought of as either as purely symbolic act (as it is seen in the West) concerning only spiritual health and healing, either as an almost mechanical smearing that will restore health regardless of one’s spiritual availability to accept the Sacraments of the Church as a whole. In this article I will try to explore the different meanings of the unction in Jacob 5 and propose a new approach that western biblical scholarship at large lacks: anointing as a physical act, neither purely symbolic, nor mechanical, but as a medium through which the Divine Grace is transmitted along with all the Sacraments of the Church, which seeks to restore man both physically and spiritually.