Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 12th, 2012

Janine ter Kuile

Financial Aid Office
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Thursday in the First Week of Ordinary Time
[308] 1 Samuel 4:1-11
Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 25-26
Mark 1:40-45

The story of Jesus and the leper is a tender love story.  Back then, if you suffered from leprosy, people would immediately draw back out of fear of you, and you weren’t allowed to approach any one.  Jesus does something radical: out of compassion he touches him, something that would make a grown man cry.  Try to imagine if you hadn’t been touched in years.

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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