11th February, 2024
Do we stay away from people who are suffering?
  • Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46
  • Psalm 32:1-2,5,11
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31--11:1
  • Mark 1:40-45

Today’s readings challenge us to see if we are living in the Old Testament mindset or in the New Testament mindset. The First Reading speaks of the Old Testament law which prescribed that the unclean people should be kept away, while in the Gospel proclamation, the Lord Jesus teaches an entirely new way. He transforms the old laws and invites people to be merciful and loving.

Jesus was overcome with compassion for the leper who was ostracised from society. He could have spoken the words of healing from a safe distance and healed the man. Instead he chose to reach out and touch the ‘unclean’ man. Instead of infecting the Lord, leprosy had to submit to the touch and command of the Author of life. St Paul, in the Second Reading, invites us to follow the example of Christ, as he was doing.

We too meet the ‘lepers’ of the 21st century almost every day. They are at our homes, workplaces, parishes, prayer communities and basically everywhere, infected by lovelessness, addictions and various forms of brokenness. Often, we ourselves are infected too. Do we run away from them, not willing to be seen anywhere near them; rather seeking the company of the successful, smart and ‘holy’ people? Or do we remember that we are in the New Testament era where the Father’s love, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has triumphed over the law? We are to go beyond the letter of the law.

Though we know this in our minds, often it is not easy to love the unlovable and to open our hearts to those who have repeatedly failed in life. Knowing our human limitations, our Saviour chose to come and live inside of us by the power of the Holy Spirit, poured out into the world on the day of Pentecost. We have been blessed to receive this priceless treasure. We were initiated into the Christian life of love and power, through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and it was re-ignited when we received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

What we cannot do by our strength, the Holy Spirit does, empowering us to do everything that the Lord Jesus did and even more (cf John 14:12). Let us allow the Holy Spirit to convict us when we tend to fall back to legalism and forget the supernatural highway of love.

PRAYER: Abba Father, help us to open our hearts to receive the instructions and counsel of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

View All