Sab, 13 Feb 21 Lectio Divina - Anno B
Lv13: 1-2, 44-46, 1 Cor:10 31-11:1 Mk 1: 40-45
All three readings today teach us that we are called to become pure and holy. But we don’t become holy by some ritual observances. We become holy by confessing our sins to God and offering our lives for God’s glory and by sharing God’s love with everyone around us without discriminating against anyone based on colour, race, culture, religion, lifestyle, wealth, or social status.
The first reading instills the theme of freedom from physical and ritual impurity as a sign of interior holiness. This freedom is symbolized by the precautions against contracting leprosy given in the first reading and by the healing of the leper described in the Gospel. If the first reading illustrate the ancient Jewish attitude toward leprosy and gives the rules for the segregation of lepers, the Gospel contradicts insisting to break the old law by Jesus’ touching the leper and healing.
In today’s Responsorial Psalm , the psalmist says: “I confessed my faults to the LORD, and You took away my guilt.” He teaches us that we become holy by confessing our sins and being reconciled with God every day. The psalm serves as a mini treatise on reconciliation, covering the meaning of the spiritual leprosy of sin and showing how we are forgiven by a Sacramental encounter with God: “I turn to You, Lord, in times of trouble, and You fill me with the joy of salvation.”
In today’s second reading, St. Paul exhorts us to become holy by doing “everything for the glory of God” and by showing sensitivity towards the other who are different from us, rather than passing judgment on them. St. Paul tells us, to do everything even such simple acts as eating and drinking for the glory of God. We should make sure that the Light shines through us.
The Gospel of today describes how Jesus heals a leper, liberating him both from the disease of leprosy and from the unjust, inhuman, social, ritual, and religious isolation and isolation to which lepers were subjected.
Jesus seeks out even the unclean and the despised. Whenever we wander from God's love, we become deformed; whenever an aspect of our mind, will, body, imagination loses its connection to the Lord, it becomes sick. To be clean is to be reconnected to the power of Christ the source.
We need to trust in the mercy of a forgiving God who assures us that our sins are forgiven and that we are clean. We are forgiven and made spiritually clean from the spiritual leprosy of sins when we repent of our sins, because God is love Who waits patiently for us. The only condition required of us is that we ask for forgiveness with a repentant heart. We are sure to hear His words of absolution, “Very well — your sins are forgiven, and you are clean,” echoed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
We need to tear down the walls that separate us from others and build bridges of loving relationship. Jesus calls every one of us to demolish the walls that separate us from each other and to welcome the outcasts and the untouchables of society. These include the imprisoned, AIDS victims, alcoholics, drug addicts and marginalized groups – the divorced, the unmarried-single mothers, migrant workers, and the mentally ill. God’s loving hand must reach out to them through us. Jesus wants us to touch their lives. Let us re-examine the barriers we have created and approach God with a heart that is ready to welcome the outcasts in our society.
The leper in Mark's gospel, a feared presence to the ancient Israelites, is made clean by Jesus' benevolent touch. A connection is formed, to each other and to God, that reminds us all, of the comforting power of communion, the healing nature of our Creator. “If you will you can make me clean.” These were the words the leper used while addressing Jesus’ words that are similar to those especially when we are not sure that God will attend to our petitions.
We the followers Christ, through the urging of His compassion, must bring healing to the world’s sickness, making possible medical care even for the “untouchables” of our own society. In the Catholic tradition, Christ’s compassionate hand touches the sick in a special way through the sacrament of anointing. This is done through the prayer, laying of hands and anointing of the Priest. By sending the leper to the priest for confirmation of healing, this shows the place of the priest as healer. But to be effective in this ministry of healing, the priest is advised like Jesus to withdraw to a “lonely place” like Jesus to pray. We are told that Jesus was concerned about the mistaken notion that people had of his mission: “Since Jesus knew that they were coming to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.