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Back Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Friday, February 12, 2021
From the desk of Fr. Ron,
In the society at the time of Jesus, persons who were ill or in some way physically deformed were thought to be “unholy.” Because their bodies were not whole, sound and healthy, their soul was thought to be the same. Some physical conditions as well as mental health conditions were totally baffling to people at the time. That’s all they knew is that something was wrong and people lived in fear that they too may be so afflicted with the same condition.
Leprosy was one such manifestation of medical mystery. Even other skin conditions were misdiagnosed not by any medical experts but by the Jewish temple priests. For the good of the physical health of the wider community, those afflicted were segregated and dared not violate their restrictions.
These realities of Jewish life at the time make the narrative story recorded by Mark this weekend so amazing. I’m sure the man with Leprosy had to have a lot of courage and humility. He was courageous to dare to place himself in the presence of Jesus. I’m sure he “cleared the room” when he arrived on the scene. He may also had put his own life on the line. He could have been stoned for breaking the expected norms. Yet he was totally humble in sharing what was in his heart and in his spirit. “If you wish, You can make me clean” Mk 1:40. Jesus began His preaching about the Kingdom of Wholeness and Holiness in God. What better example of Kingdom power would there be than to see this man’s body restored to health and his life restored into the community family of his sisters and brothers. This man is just one of many. His faith was strong even before he encountered Jesus’ presence. He believed that Jesus could do this for him if Jesus only wished. He professed his faith in Jesus.
We pray that we too may be as brave as this man afflicted with Leprosy. May we be as faith filled and as determined to seek, find, and speak to Jesus our Savior and Lord.