Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B-11 February 2018

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him,”I will; be clean”

Leprosy = 1st reading

  • In the biblical times, leprosy was one of the most feared diseases
  • It was very contagious hence lived outside the community. This was to protect the community from infection
  • It was the ultimate uncleanliness
  • It made the victim an outcast, not only socially but also religiously. They were considered ritually unclean. If one saw a healthy person, he was supposed to ring the bell and shout in a loud voice, unclean, unclean

Rejection

Leprosy, without doubt, was a terrible disease; but not terrible us feeling of being unloved, unwanted, or abandoned = rejection

  • Rejection hurts than any other state or emotion
  • It damages self-worth, making somebody feel worthless. It makes somebody shrivel up or openly rebel
  • Rejection is very devastating especially for children, elderly, and handicapped people. To a child abandoned by its parent is equivalent to death.
  • Lepers were rejected and despised by people, and believed themselves to be rejected and despised by God too – people thought they are cursed by God
  • Our families- hatred, mistreatment, murder, unfaithfulness, persecutions, = leprosy

Gesture of Jesus – Gospel

  • This man shouldn’t ha e appeared in public without ringing a bell or shouting a warning
  • He ran the risk of being chased away with stones. But he was determined to meet the one man he believed would not reject him
  • Jesus saw the leper and allowed him to come right up to him
  • Jesus did the unthinkable: he reached out and touched the leper before he cured him. In this, he cut through the religious and social taboos
  • The touch shows Jesus’ great compassion for the outcast, the sinner, the sufferer
  • Jesus power of cleansing is manifested. Instead of him becoming unclean, he purifies, cleanses the leper
  • He showed that the external uncleanness does not defile the clean of heart
  • He teaches us not to despise anyone or regard them as pitiable because of some bodily affliction
  • He touched the infirmities of people, not that the infirmities might adhere to him, but that he might drive them from those who were afflicted.see Oscar Wilde”…Jesus understood the leprosy of the leper, the darkness of the blind, the fierce misery of those who live for pleasure, the strange poverty of the rich, the thirst that can lead people to drink from muddy waters”
  • Physical contact is precisely what gives people, especially the sick and wounded people a sense of warmth and joy. By the very act of touching, we accept or acknowledge the person as he or she is

Jesus stretches our capacity for compassion = imitating Christ 2nd reading

  • He challenges our idea of love
  • Each of us has a great capacity for love
  • We have within our capacity the power to reach out to the suffering, the sick, those in pain, the rejected
  • We could rekindle hope to the desperate, strength to the downtrodden. We can imitate the model of Christ. Who are the “lepers”(the outcasts of our day?). How would Jesus have treated them?