Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10: 31 (From the 1st reading)
Gospel Mk 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 the 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.
Two things really strike me when I read this account of the man with leprosy being healed by Jesus . First, “lepers” were considered totally untouchable – unclean. The facts that they were referred to as lepers instead of people with leprosy infers that distance – that looking down upon. Jesus did the unthinkable in touching this man. It was just one of the many demonstrations of Jesus being compassionate and counter cultural. Today, we are called to be Christ’s light to our world by being compassionate and counter cultural. Following Christ definitely means being different – going against the grain. May God grant us the courage to do this in all circumstances.
Secondly, I love how Mark’s gospel emphasizes Jesus’ humanity. We know that Jesus was fully divine and fully human. He was tempted, but was completely without sin. Repeatedly, Mark mentions how Jesus did not want the “stardom” that He was receiving because of the miracles He could perform. Over the course of a few chapters in this gospel, He tries repeatedly to retreat to a deserted place – perhaps to pray, to rest, to get away from the crowds – but they kept finding Him. I can so relate to Jesus’ need to be alone – away from the bedlam. Poor Jesus just couldn’t seem to find any solitude during those three action packed years of His ministry. I can’t help but wonder where all those people were (who he healed and helped) when it came time for Him to stand before Pontius Pilate.