Modern and ancient leprosy have a common thread: dread, stigma, alienation. People with AIDS carry a similar stigma. Anyone with disabilities will tell you they are ostracized, especially if that disability can be seen.
I try to envision what it must be like to be a leper, suffering disfigurement, loss of feeling, being shunned, living on the fringe of society. But I cannot. I am mercifully blessed with good health, and I live in a time of understanding contagion and various other aspects of previously untreatable disease. But I can imagine the desire to be made clean. Who of us has not asked at one time or another for healing?
I am quite sure the news of Jesus’ compassion caused as big a stir as the miracle itself. We have so many opportunities in this day and time to be radical in our compassion. Jesus came to preach and to heal. How am I called to do the same?
Wherever there is healing and health, there is the presence of God.
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