6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Israelite community sought to protect itself by having the priests declare someone unclean who exhibited signs of skin diseases. Once declared unclean, the individual was forced to live outside the camp. The pandemic we are suffering has made this easier for our modern minds to understand. Instead of priests declaring one “unclean,” it is the medical community; instead of being outside the camp, it is living in quarantine. The goal is the same: to protect the community from further disease. We are experiencing living outside the camp.
As we encounter the leper in today’s gospel reading, we are better able to feel his need to be made whole that he might re-enter the camp. As the leper encounters Jesus, he appeals to him with complete faith: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” And the response is one of deep compassion and care, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The touch of Jesus restores this man not only to health but back into the community. Do we long for that touch of Jesus that can heal? Am I willing to turn over whatever it is that causes me to be unclean?
Saint Paul encourages us to be imitators of Christ. And yet, we treat many as lepers in our world today. We put people outside the camp because they differ from us physically, ethnically, religiously, racially, politically, or for a host of other reasons. They stand outside, waiting for the touch of inclusion, the touch of healing, and acceptance. Am I willing to be moved with compassion to offer a healing touch that will restore our human family to wholeness?
As we enter Lent this week, may we find in the Eucharist the touch of Christ that heals and gathers us together. May this be a time of our healing and our healing others.
Let Us Pray:
Holy Spirit be with us as we begin to walk our Lenten journey in the desert places of our hearts. Give us the grace to recognize the Lord’s presence, inviting us to be made whole. Fill us with courage that we might share a healing touch with others. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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