1st Week of Ordinary Time (17th January, 2019)
First Reading: Heb 3:7-14
Gospel: Mk 1:40-45
In the first reading through the letter of Saint Paul to the Hebrews the holy spirit is telling us not to harden our hearts by the lure of sin because we are co heirs of Christ Jesus.
We need to motivate one another and continue to be confident right till the end.
Through the Gospel today Mark is telling us about the leper who is seeking healing from Jesus Christ. When he requests to Jesus, Jesus was feeling sorry for him, stretched his arm, while saying,” I want to cure you, be cured” at once leprosy left him.
While sending him, Jesus warned him not to tell this to anyone, except the priests and to make an offering as prescribed by Moses.
But the healed man went around and shared the healing to everyone in the neighbourhood. So, crowds were around Jesus and he could not any longer be going out openly into the town.
Jesus always feels sorry for his Sheep. If any of us want to be healed, we just need to surrender and ask Jesus to heal us. he will touch and heal us.
Leviticus 13 outlines specific procedures for dealing with a person suspected of being infected with leprosy. A priest would have to inspect the person, and after a period of monitoring and observation, if the condition does not improve, the person would be declared ritually “unclean”.
Leprosy was considered a sort of curse from God, of profound impurity. To be declared unclean because of leprosy meant that the unfortunate person had to tear his clothes and put a covering upon his upper lip and cry, “unclean, unclean”. As the Jews were concerned that the condition was contagious, such individuals were to live separated outside the camp. Away from the community, they were left homeless without the support of family and friends. In approaching Jesus, the man was in violation of Levitical law. In touching the leper, Jesus also defies Levitical law.
Regarding the law, Jesus asked us, “Was man made for Sabbath or Sabbath made for man?”
Let’s pray to the Almighty to give us the discernment to value human love beyond law and social practices. Amen.