THEME: SPIRITUAL LEPROSY CAN BE CURED
READINGS: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46/ 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1/ Mark 1:40-45
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leprosy needs to be diagnosed early and measures taken to prevent its spreading in the community (cf. first reading). We may not be lepers, judging by our physical health and appearance, but we may be spiritual lepers. However, there is great news for us: Jesus can cure both physical and spiritual leprosy (cf. gospel reading)!
Sin is spiritual leprosy. As physical lepers are quarantined for fear of spreading the infectious disease, so sin (spiritual leprosy) creates a distance between us and God. As leprosy disfigures a person physically, so sin disfigures us in spirit. We become no longer the ‘image and likeness’ of the all-holy God – we become something else. As physical leprosy makes its victims lose their fingers, toes, etc., so sin makes us lose ‘parts’ of our souls. Though souls cannot be quantified, for vivid descriptions of the conditions of our souls negatively affected by sins, one could say that some have become ½, ¼, 1/10, etc. of the original souls God created for us.
This notwithstanding, there is good news for us: Jesus Christ wants to restore the wholeness of our fractioned souls. However, he wants us to play a part in the process of restoration. Our part is a simple task. For instance, in the case of Naaman, the Syrian army officer, he was told to simply wash seven times in the Jordan. Though, he initially refused to perform the simple task of washing in the Jordan, when he later did so, the result was amazing! It was more than a full restoration of his adult skin: his skin became ‘like that of a little child’ (2 Kings 5:14-17)! And in the case of the leper in the gospel reading, Jesus gave this simple instruction: ‘Go and show yourself to the priest’.
Let us also accept (with faith) the instruction of the Lord Jesus, then go and show ourselves to the priest at the confessional. If we do so, the damaged ‘skins’ of our souls will be restored to the original – they will become like the innocent souls of children. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis