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.
“He became obedient unto death.“ (Phil 2:8)
The “Right Order“ that Jesus told John to be followed at his baptism in the Jordan also meant the OBEDIENCE God expected from both John the Baptist and from Jesus, the Servant of Yahweh. “Listen“ or “Obey“ is a fundamental commandment. Sin essentially is disobedience.
Jesus demands obedience, too. The Leper is commanded to go to the priest and offer the sacrifice stipulated in Leviticus 14. The leper presents himself to the priest who certifies that he is clean through the sacrifice of a bird that has its blood sprinkled on the leper. A cedar wood that is likewise dipped in the blood. One can see a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary! The Gospel interestingly tells us that Jesus “stretched out his hand and touched him (the leper).“ TO CLEANSE SINNERS, Jesus will stretch out his hands on the cross! Thus it becomes even clearer that Jesus, by his SOLIDARITY with humanity embraced the cost of being human, DEATH, and that this death will be by way of the CROSS!
We who have been cleansed of leprosy (sins) have to present ourselves to the High Priest, Jesus Christ, and offer the true sacrifice that cleanses our sins, the Eucharist! We must obey the “right order“ set by the Father!