Daily Gospel Reflection for January 11, 2018


Today’s Gospel: Mark 1:40-45

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is “moved with pity” and heals a man of leprosy. Although Jesus explicitly tells the man to say nothing, the man goes on to tell all. This makes it impossible for Jesus to enter the town. Instead, Jesus remains outside, but He continues to heal all that come to Him.

Isn’t this typical of Jesus? His heart goes out to heal, even after people disregard His instructions. Even when it means more work for Him to do.

Today is the birth and death anniversary of my first born son, Joshua Emet. The movement to pity and the postponed entry into the town reminds me of working through suffering and grief. It helps me identify with the suffering man who was healed and with Jesus Christ who suffered alongside him and the others.

In the First Reading today, I was shocked to read of a terrible defeat. Israel was losing in battle against the Philistines. They wondered why the Lord would let this happen. They marched out the Ark of the Covenant and it raised their spirits. The Philistines became fearful. Determined not to be enslaved, they persevered. Israel was defeated, the Ark was captured, and the two sons of Eli were put to death. What type of happy ending was this?

Our lives are not always as simple as Jesus showing up and solving our problems. Nor is the Good News merely lemonade from lemons. Suffering is real. Defeat is real. Yet neither are final.

This is more than rescue from death. This is redemption and dying into eternal life. Through this, I have come to understand the God who is with me and with my son. One day we shall enter the Kingdom together.


When has God been moved to pity in your life and redeemed you from defeat?


Lord, Who is with us and those no longer with us, reach out to us, for our life is in Your hands.

Copyright 2018 Jay Cuasay

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About Author

Jay Cuasay is a freelance writer on religion, interfaith relations and culture. A post-Vatican II Catholic father with a Jewish spouse, he is deeply influenced by Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism. He was a regular columnist on Catholicism for examiner.com and a moderator and contributor to several groups on LinkedIn. His LTEs on film and Jewish Catholic relations have been published in America and Commonweal. He currently ministers to English and Spanish families at a Franciscan parish. He can be reached at TribePlatypus.com.


  1. Jay, thank you for your reflection and for sharing from the heart about your own loss and how it relates to today’s gospel. I particularly liked your “typical Jesus” observation. So true! He knows we’re going to mess up, but he heals anyway. That’s some amazing mercy right there.
    Prayers are with you and your family today on this sad anniversary. Memorare UP!

  2. Thank you, Barb. Believe it or not, I forgot about this, since I wrote it awhile ago. I typically write a reflection as a note for Facebook every year. This year is especially poignant as our original pastor died Epiphany weekend. He was the one who presided at Joshua Emet’s funeral, hired me to my parish position, and marveled at the interfaith family we have. He was a great homilist and writer himself. He will be missed, along with his words and reflections. But greater the reunion to come!

  3. Susanna Bollen on

    At mass today, our priest mentioned that in both readings that God wants us to reach out to him. The Israelites tried to defeat the Philistines without the Lord’s assistance and were wrong to put their trust entirely in themselves. They were defeated. It was after their defeat that they then wanted the Lord’s help but it was too late to be saved. The leper, on the other hand, was totally defeated, having had leprosy for many years and being an outcast. His request for mercy was heard because his trust was totally in God.

    May you and your family receive the peace and consolation today that is only found in the Lord.

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