Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year B

The First Reading, Leviticus 13: 1-2, 44-46, and the Gospel, Mark 1:40-45, talk about the leprosy. In the old times, persons with this kind of disease were treated very harshly. They were victims of all types of mistreatment. They were outcasts. They were rejected by society, separated from the religious community lest others became unclean by interacting with them.

The one who bears the sore of leprosy
shall keep his garments rent and his head bare,
and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, 'Unclean, unclean!'
As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean,
since he is in fact unclean.
He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp. (Lv. 13: 44-46)

However, in the person of Jesus we see our Lord treated the lepers in a special way, which was with much love and care. When a leper came to the Lord with trusting heart and mind, Jesus did not refuse to show him his love. “Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” (Mk 1:41) By touching the leper, Jesus broke all social and religious norms regarding leprosy. From his loving kindness He reached out to him and healed him.

Not only Jesus shows forth his love and care for people with outward diseases, He also loves and cares much more for the broken hearts, the lonely, the hopeless, and especially the sinners. He wants all to live in his love and care. Indeed the Lord has set a good example for all of us. As His believers, carrying His name, we must think and act like Him. We have to reach out to all. Our love and care must go to every people.

Fr. Phi Nguyen

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