Today’s Gospel: Mark 1:40-45 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
We hear about lepers frequently in the Gospels, and I think it’s easy to become desensitized to this term. I start to think of a leper as a “sick person” in the way that I think of a “sick person” who has a headache and sore throat. I don’t think about the actual reality that people with leprosy faced: the diseased skin, the knowledge of it being incurable, and isolation from the rest of society. This was not only a debilitating physical condition, but it set men and women apart from society. When Jesus heals the leper, He’s not just curing a physical ailment like the common cold, but He’s enabling this person to rejoin the communal and liturgical life. Furthermore, He is offering this person hope for the future.
There are people all around us who, like this leper, are cut off from community. Perhaps they suffer from noticeable physical ailments. Maybe they’re experiencing a less-visible condition, like infertility, depression or addiction. Whatever the case, these men and women are isolated on some level. Just as Christ heard the leper’s cry and touched Him, so we must hear the cries of these hurting people around us. Reaching out with love and compassion, we need to be present. We need to listen to others to see what they need, and what they desire. We need to love them as Jesus does, and offer them God’s hope.
On this World Day of the Sick, let us be more attentive to the needs of the sick men, women, and children who have been placed in our lives. Let us turn to God, our Divine Physician, and ask for healing in our own lives and the lives of others.
What will we do this week to serve those who are sick?
Lord, please open my eyes and ears so that I may truly listen to my suffering brothers and sisters.
Copyright 2018 AnneMarie Miller
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