06B – 14 Feb 2021
Moved with Compassion
Message by: Fr Richard M Healey
What is the best way to let everyone know what is going on? Tell one person the news, but ask them to keep it secret! Jesus discovers this in the Gospel today. In the Greek text he is very strong – not just sternly ordered – there is a hint of anger. More than a hint.. Same language as exorcism when he drives the man away. Which is confusing. I haven’t seen an adequate answer- why?
Let’s explore the scene before us. The first reading gave us some of the criteria for determining if a discolouration of the flesh is a mere rash, or something contagious. The person is quarantined for 14 days during this process, and tested twice to check and see if they can return to society or stay in isolation? Sound familiar? Unclean!
Jesus left the village of Keph-Nahum and is making his way through Galilee with his small band of followers – not yet the 12. Suddenly this dishevelled leper confronts the group as he throws himself down before Jesus. “If you want to, you can make me clean.” Jesus, we are told, is moved with compassion (not just feeling sorry for him – that is way too weak) “Of course I want to – Be clean.” That is the attitude of Jesus – to restore us both to health and the wholeness of life in community.
Sunday 6, Year B. Lev 13:1-2,44-46; Mark 1:40-45