15 January 2009


Thursday in the First Week of Ordinary Time
Mk 1:40-45

I still have to understand why certain diseases put a stigma on those they afflict. It is really not the diseases themselves that put a stigma on their victims, but the people around the afflicted, people who, by God’s sheer mercy anyhow, are spared from the same stigma. Take for example, leprosy. As if the suffering of their bodies were not enough that lepers were made to suffer even more by being treated as social outcasts by the Jews. According to Judaic law, the leprous should live outside the city and cry “Leper! Leper!” whenever he walks so that the “clean” may be warned about the proximity of the “unclean”. Moreover, Judaic religion judged anyone talking to a leper as unclean himself. I really cannot comprehend why make suffering people suffer even more?

Jesus certainly never wants that. He did not want it as shown by the gospel today. “If you want to,” a leprous said to Jesus, “You can cure me.” Of course, Jesus wanted to! Should there be any doubt about it? None with us. But we cannot blame the leprous if his words to Jesus betray his doubt about Jesus’ compassion.

His misery taught him to doubt everybody. Nobody cared about him. Should Jesus be any different? There was no harm in trying though. No harm on the leprous, but there was on Jesus. Jesus, according to Judaic standards, could be rendered unclean by any contact with the leprous. Jesus did not mind though. He took the risk. He talked to the leprous. He even touched him! He healed him.

Perhaps the healing needed by many sick people is really the compassion that comes from being heard and being touched. When we take the risk in favor of the outcasts who were not guilty of anything except the fact that they are different, healing happens not only in them but in us as well. We ourselves are healed from the stigma that we have put on them.


At 5:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the gift of life Lord
and the renewed strength You grant us each day. May You continue to guide us along the path of life so that so we can share our lives to others.Help us to Trust in Your Heart. Amen - rory


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