Today’s Feast: Our Lady of Lourdes
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46 – Ps 32 – 1 Corinthians 10:31 – 11-1
Mark 1:40 – 45
“What do you want of me, Lord?”
Today’s Gospel story about the healing of the leper begins with the leper saying to Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” The Gospels only give us two instances where lepers are healed: this one and the one about the ten being healed with only one coming back to give thanks. Most of the healings in the Gospels begin with the person seeking the healing making the first move: “If I but touch the tassel of His robe…” Or, “Son of David, have pity on me.” And Jesus does want to make us whole. And this Gospel’s healing points out that Jesus places Himself in a potentially threatening position by reaching out to touch the leper which would have made him ritually impure in the sight of the S & P’s.
So what’s our “bottom line” in this story? If we only do “safe” things in our Christian walk we will be like the person who received the one talent: “I knew you were a clever man so I played it safe: here’s your one talent back. Nothing lost. Nothing gained.” And the guy gets thrown into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!
Our walk with Jesus can never be just a stroll down “easy-street” as can be attested by the lives and deaths of the Church’s early martyrs. We have to be willing to go the extra mile knowing that Jesus promised to be with us all the way. The quote from GK Chesterton, “It’s not that Christianity has been tried and failed. It’s that it hasn’t really been tried.” Maybe we need to approach Jesus with, “If you wish you can make me a good follower…” and then stay there as He reaches out to touch your life with His healing hand. Amen.