Homily: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Monsignor Peter:
Sometimes we notice a phrase in the Liturgy of the Word of God that resonates with our experience. Today for me I was stopped short by the response in the Psalm: “I turn to you Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation”.
In Mark’s Gospel this Sunday we hear the story of Jesus healing an unclean man – a leper. In Jesus’ day, leprosy referred to a number of skin conditions. Furthermore, leprosy disadvantaged a person more than just medically. Religiously and spiritually, they were unclean. Socially they were to live alone and keep their distance from other people. Unable to work, they were affected financially.
There is a remarkable parallel between what we experience every day and the Gospel passage. We are now accustomed to sanitizing our hands when, for example, we enter the super-market.
This leads me to this observation – the leper’s encounter with Jesus highlights Jesus’ willingness to touch those who feel rejected, abandoned or forgotten. His compassion reaches to all who want to become ‘whole’. That includes us. He heals our fears, worries, anxieties. He cleanses us from our wrongdoing and the hurt we cause to others through our words and actions – often isolating ourselves from others. Like the leper, we ask and wait for Jesus to reach out and touch us. Lent is only five days away!