Gospel Reflection- Thursday (13 January 2022) 1st Week of Ordinary Time – Cleansing of the Leper
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (1: 40-45) in which Jesus, moved by deep compassion, heals the Leper.
Mark, in today’s Gospel, reflects to us the warmth of Jesus’s humanity and reflects to us the concern that Jesus has for the leper and all those who come to him looking for help.
Fr Paul notes, in the English translation we hear today, we hear the words that ‘Jesus feels sorry for him’ but if we read the Greek it says that when Jesus saw the leper he was gutted so Jesus feels for this leper from the very depths of his being. Jesus then does the unthinkable, he reaches out and touches the leper and by doing this Jesus would make himself ritually unclean. It would also leave him open to catching the disease.
Anybody watching this event would be horrified and, yet, they would be awestruck by this expression of love and sympathy. Jesus is wholeheartedly involved with this sufferer of leprosy and such is his response that what Jesus in a sense makes him a leper because, as we hear at the end of Gospel, after this Jesus could not go into any town but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived.
Mindful of the actions of Jesus, mindful of how deeply Jesus felt for the leper, for our prayer and reflection today, Fr Paul asks, ‘Do I have the courage, like Jesus did, to reach out and help others around me?’