Gospel: Mk 1:40-45
A leper came to Jesus and begged him, “If you want to, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to; be clean.” The leprosy left the man at once and he was made clean. As Jesus sent the man away, he sternly warned him, “Don’t tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest; and for the cleansing, bring the offering ordered by Moses; in this way, you will give to them your testimony.” However, as soon as the man went out, he began spreading the news everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter any town. But even though he
stayed in the rural areas, people came to him from everywhere.
Read: The first reading focuses on the priestly task of exclusion: declaring someone unclean and outside the community. In the gospel, Jesus reverses the process: he heals the man with leprosy and asks him to show himself to a priest who can declare him clean and admit him back to community. And Paul invites us to follow the example of Christ.
Reflect: What is “imitatio Christi” other than doing the act of inclusion? Our impulse is to discriminate,
differentiate, isolate, exclude, and if possible, annihilate. Unfortunately, many religious people use their religious texts to justify such acts of exclusion. But Paul insists that our model – the only model worth following – is that of Christ who came into this world to become like us, to teach us to embrace God’s own impulse – an impulse that seeks to see the kinship we share with everything and thereby reach out, embrace, heal and include.
Pray: Pray for the gift of God’s impulse to feel kinship with everything that is.
Act: Reach out, embrace and include someone whom you have been keeping at arm’s length for long.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018