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Reflections for Sunday, February 12, 2012
Posted By Maurice Blumberg On February 6, 2012 @ 8:58 AM In Catechesis,Featured,MyChurchParish.com,Sunday Reflections | No Comments
Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46; Psalm 32:1-2,5,11; 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1; Mark 1:40-45)
Knowing and Experiencing the Healing Touch of Jesus
“He remained outside in deserted places.” (Mark 1:45)
This man wore no shackle or chain, yet he lived every day in solitary confinement. Afflicted with leprosy, he was bound by Levitical law, which insisted that everyone with a skin disease must be quarantined. It was a hellish fate, where they lived in isolation until they withered away.
Then the man felt a touch from Jesus’ outstretched hand, and he was healed instantly! Jesus took away the disease that separated this man from his brothers and sisters, and by extension, from God. For centuries, Fathers of the Church have seen in this story a model of the way Jesus destroyed the leprosy of sin and brought us back into communion with each other and with God.
We are familiar with the healings that Jesus performed—healings of body, soul, and spirit. For the most part, they have happily-ever-after endings where everyone is restored to health, and Jesus is revered as a powerful wonderworker. But this story takes an unexpected turn. While the man was able to embrace his loved ones and rejoin the community, Jesus was forced to remain outside of the town in “deserted places” (Mark 1:45). Why?
We may think it was because Jesus was afraid the people would try to make him a king or use him in their political struggle against the occupying Roman army. This may have been part of Jesus’ thinking. But if we look at the Law of Moses, we see that Jesus stayed away also because he had touched a leper, which made him ritually unclean. And the only remedy for such impurity was a time of isolation so that he would not contaminate anyone else.
What a vivid illustration of the gospel! On the cross, Jesus took upon himself the sickness of our sin and the banishment that we deserved. He bore them in his own body, cleansing us to be united with God. By Love’s wounds, we have been healed!
“Lord Jesus, your love moves me to bow in worship at your feet, for that leper was me.”
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
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