Scripture Reading: Mark 1:40-45
Welcome to another Sunday encounter with God’s word. Last Sunday Jesus had to escape to a quiet place where He might pray, recharge Himself, and refocus the direction and purpose of His ministry. It was only after He had had this time alone with His Father in prayer and having been sought out by His disciples, He goes forth to continue His evangelical ministry where He encountered the Leper.
The statement: “If you choose, you can make me clean”, spoken by the Leper to Jesus, as recorded by Mark, is quite captivating. Our scripture reading tells us that Jesus, filled with compassion, choose to cure the Leper. Reaching out with a healing hand, He restored health to the man. The lesson in all its brevity, offers us a number of things to consider. The story of the Leper’s cleansing is about choice, compassion, free will, and human contact as a form of healing.
Jesus chose to act; to heal the Leper of his affliction. Secondly, and perhaps of greater importance, Jesus did this by directly touching him; by making a physical (human) contact. Jesus did not have to touch the Leper in order to heal him, but He did. He touched someone that no one else would want to touch. By making that physical contact, He communicated God’s love for that individual. Touching can communicate love, support, compassion, understanding, care, forgiveness and invitation. Brethren, Denniston D. asked: “When was the last time that you, either by your words, actions, or your touch, communicated a message of care, concern, support, acceptance or forgiveness to someone?” Touching just one person with God’s love can change the lives of many, including your own. Jesus calls us to be people who are determined to touch people who need to be touched.
Also, in all three Synoptic gospels, the Leper relied on the healing compassion of Jesus’ friendship. Joseph P. Gillespie wrote, “In stretching out His hand to the Leper, moved with pity, Jesus ran the risk, technically speaking, of having made Himself unclean by touching the Leper, the trumping of pain and suffering by compassion would become the hallmark of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus would outwit the irony of making clean the unclean at the risk of making Himself unclean”. As we prepare for Lent and follow in the way of the Cross of Jesus, we must choose to act with compassion to all those in need.
MASS: GREEN/WHITE Lev 13:1-2. 44-46; Ps 32: 1-2. 5. 11 (R.7); 1 Cor 10:31. 11:1; Accl.Lk. 7:16; Mk 1:40-45 SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Prayer Points:
1. Take the Daily Strength Prayer for the Year 2018.
2. Father, I detest and reject my inability to show love, compassion and care to those in need around me. Grant me the grace, O Lord to imitate You in expressing love.
Exercise: Pray for all Lepers all over the world, for healing and reduction of their sufferings.
Meditation: Matthew 15:32.