Connect to the Liturgy
Sunday's Gospel, Mark 1:40-45
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
"I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
One of my favorite TV shows is the old British sitcom, “Keeping Up Appearances;” Hyacinth Bucket would regularly remind others that her last name was to be pronounced “Bouquet.” Humor is a grand thing; it brings us joy. But a sad truth is that, more than ever, our children and grandchildren live with the insufferable dis-ease of “keeping up with the Joneses” (and I’m not talking about our second-grader, Riyan and his dad Mark).
My late friend John Kavanaugh, S.J. observes,
The paradox of our faith is that it requires us to maintain the
perspective we least like: that of accepting our human disabilities.
The beauty of today’s Gospel is a truth that all of us need to recall, especially the young, namely, that spending time with our friend Jesus literally takes the fear(s) out of us; we are all old, all sick, all sinners, all broken. Whenever we call out, Jesus speaks – and literally things happen; faith makes things happen. Remember, God said there will be light… Jesus speaks to a wounded and excluded human being, and in doing so Jesus breaks a Law – He becomes “unclean;” and, that human being is not only made well, he’s made whole – restored right back into the center of community – where by God’s command of love everyone needs to belong.
Around your kitchen table this week, spend time sharing how denial is the real enemy of healing and peace; and, for goodness sakes, remind one another of what Jesus is always looking to say to us,
Of course I want to heal you!