Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 9th, 2009

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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If Jesus were a celebrity in our day, He might have won Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person Award of 31 A.D. for his cures like the one in today’s Gospel. I can see him fleeing the paparazzi just as he fled the crowds of his own time.

But what I reflect on today is not how Jesus handled his growing celebrity, fascinating as that is to a journalist, but two other aspects of today’s reading:

•the courage of the leper in approaching Jesus
•the respectful manner in which Jesus responded to the leper even though He obviously dreaded the inevitable impact when word spread of the cure.

It’s a great lesson for anyone who constantly fields requests for help from children, students, patients, customers, parents, parishioners, administrators, etc.

As I write this, it is finals week, a period that tries the patience of the saintliest professors. At times like this, it is good to remember the courage that it takes people to seek assistance and to recall the positive or negative impact of small encounters on the supplicant. An impatient word at the wrong time can have lasting consequences or vice versa.

As a teacher, it is humbling to occasionally hear from a former student that some long forgotten kindness or piece of advice had a lasting impact. When I examine my conscience, I wonder about the contrary as well.

Although I hate the cliché “what would Jesus do?” I’ll try to keep his encounter with the leper in mind when one too many requests lands on my desk or in my email.

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