Today’s readings are interesting to say the least. Our first reading comes from the book of Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46. It’s about someone who has leprosy. As you can see it’s not very warm and fuzzy. The person with leprosy is forced to be separated from the community entirely. This is justifiable as leprosy is very contagious. As the Israelites are living in a tightknit community the spreading of this disease would be almost a foregone conclusion. However, that does not do much for those who have the disease.
Our Gospel today is from Mark 1:40-45. The leper in this story breaks all the rules in order to get to Jesus. He should not be anywhere near anyone in the general population. His faith is astounding. He knows if he gets to Jesus he can be cured. He is willing to gamble that much in order to be freed of his ailment. Notice that Jesus treats him with respect; and not only cures him, but also reaches out and touches him. Now Jesus is also considered ritually unclean. I am always moved by the actions of Jesus in the story. He is willing to be exiled from the temple in order to minister to this man. What a wonderful act of love and compassion.
I guess the challenge in these readings is: are we willing to put ourselves in jeopardy in order to assist those who need help? I don’t think any of us have to worry about getting leprosy today in this country, but there are many people on the margins of society that we can reach out to. Do not misunderstand me, I do not think that any of us is expected to put ourselves in harm’s way! However, there are times when we can take the part of another person, perhaps one who is marginal. Will today be that day?
Our readings today could easily be compared to the current situation we are facing with the Corona virus. I’m sure you are aware of how easy it is to be infected. So let us take one extra step in dealing with Corona. I know I don’t have to list what we need to do, you are all aware of the safety measures we need to comply with. It is our duty to follow the guidelines we have been given. Let’s all try extra hard to comply and while you are at it say a prayer that this virus will soon be eradicated from our world! It is the Christian thing to do!
Peace and All Good!