10 Feb 6th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
6th Sunday of the Year – B
Dear friends in Christ,
Today’s Gospel starts with these words: a leper came to Jesus begging, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately.
This Gospel story is shocking because the law of the time strictly forbade lepers to get close to healthy people. This leper, however, broke the Law in approaching Jesus. Jesus likewise broke through the Law, stretching out his hand and touched the leper. St. Mark seems to make a point telling us that by touching the leper and making him clean, Jesus willed to turn himself into ‘a leper.’ This reminds us of what St. Paul wrote, “for our sakes God made him who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in him we might become the very holiness of God” (2Cor 5:21).
Jesus’ pity to the leper was not simply a human sentiment. Rather, it was God’s loving power. At the beginning of creation God spoke, “Let there be light, and there was light.” Here, Jesus speaks and it is done.
Many believe that people would have to be good before they could approach the Lord. This, however, is not what Jesus tells us. He shows that we can approach God no matter what our condition or circumstances. He reached out and welcomed sinners while they were still in their sin. “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners,” he said.
Spiritual writers regard sin as a kind of leprosy of the soul. Like leprosy keeps people out of the society, sin keeps us out of the Mystical Body of Christ. But forgiveness through the sacrament of Reconciliation re-admits us to the community.
Lent will be here in a few days. This is the time when the Church reminds us of God who is a God of Mercies. Let all our prejudices and fears be destroyed, and let’s turn to one another with the same mercy that has healed us.