Reflection on scripture Sixth Sunday Gospel B Compassion of Jesus

By 10:49 AM

 Sixth Sunday of Year: Gospel B

A leper came to him (and kneeling down) begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." 

· In the Old Testament we find two instances where lepers were cured: Numbers 12:10-15 and 2 Kings 5:1-14.

· Leprosy was very contagious. Because of this the Mosaic Law stated that lepers were both physically and ritually impure. Therefore, they were not allowed to be in contact with others less they too would become affected and made ritually unclean.

· The man sought to be made clean or healed so that he could live a normal life and worship with others.

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. 

· Normally, there is revulsion at the sight of a leper. But Jesus feels a deep compassion for the man.

· How often have we experienced the compassion of God over some area of sin or affliction in our lives?

· Technically, according to the Mosaic Law, when Jesus touched the leper he himself became ritually unclean.  But Jesus knew that the reason for the Law was preventive medicine and had nothing to do with one’s relationship with God.

· In a symbolic way in touching the leper Jesus became “sin” for us. He took on our sins.

Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.  Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” 

· Jesus healed not for his sake but to manifest the love and plan of God.

· The only command Jesus gave him was that he be obedient to the Mosaic law—namely be certified as healed—so that he could once more be part of the community.

· The reason why Mark has Jesus tell the man not to publicize the healing is that in Mark’s theology to fully understand who Jesus really is one must wait for his death and resurrection. Jesus is more than a healer. He is the Messiah. But this revelation will not become clear until Jesus completes his mission on the cross.

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. 

· What does this event say to you about your relationship to Jesus? What is the “leprosy” –the area of sin--in your life that Jesus wants to free you from?

· What is preventing you from coming to Jesus with confidence and trust in his love for you and in his power to restore you?

· The man wanted to be made clean. Do we want to be freed from the bondage of sin?

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