1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,
2 “When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests,
44 he is a leprous man, he is unclean; the priest must pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head. 45 “The leper who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ 46 He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone in a habitation outside the camp.
1 Corinthians 10:31-33;1Cor 11:1
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,
33 just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. 1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
40 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
FIRST READING describes the actions a person must take when afflicted with leprosy. Rabbis taught that the human body is the gateway to the soul, such that taking care of one’s body was a commandment or a ‘mitzvah.’ The temple priest is the first person that the afflicted person should visit to assess their medical condition and treatment they required.
Judaism considered those who treated illnesses such as physicians and caregivers as agents of God, implying that it is a work of love that is of God’s doing. An unclean prognosis required the individual to be separated from the family to avoid the spreading of the disease untill healing is effected for the person to rejoin the community. Outward signs such as tearing once garment was a sign of abstinence; humility; mourning the dead as well as a sign of being on a journey of healing!
St PAUL in his epistle is dealing with the matter of respect followers of Christ Jesus must have when they visit non believers. On the matter of clean or unclean food, Paul teaches that believers not reject food that is offered by non christians, but to be charitable and in so doing be imitators of Christ who never rejected anyone based on their cultural identification or their physical appearance.
THE GOSPEL READING tells the story of a leper begging and petitioning our Lord to heal him from his bodily afflictions. The man’s posture of kneeling at the feet of Christ Jesus suggests that he recognized the divinity of the Lord. Moreover the leper broke the prevailing rule to socially distance himself from those who are healthy, because he desired to be healed so he may return to his family! Our Lord recognized the role of the priesthood and duly healed the man and refered him to the priest to complete the inner healing process by making sacrificial offering.Lev 14
All of us are afflicted or addicted with some form of visible or invisible illness that we may or may not even be aware of. Blind spots in our makeup and or our mulish state of mind to not bend the knee and seek help from a Divine physician may rob us from being healed in body and mind and retain our separation from loved ones. To be sure, the only way to clean up our act is to step out of our self isolated state and present ourselves to Christ Jesus through the priestly ministry of reconciliation where in ‘persona christi’ mercy, forgiveness and grace awaits us, so that we may rejoin our loved ones with joy!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 32:1-2,5,11
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 5 I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Catholic Witness Apostolate firstname.lastname@example.org Henry R SYLVESTER
Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world
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