January 13, 2022
by Rev. Richard Gabuzda
The Institute of Priestly Information
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 308

Samuel 4:1-11
Psalms 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25
Mark 1:40-45

Praying Ordinary Time

His Healing Touch

The Gospel of Mark records a succession of Jesus’ healing miracles. In the accounts of these miracles, the healing brought about through Jesus’ intervention is accomplished in various ways and in that regard, the detail provided in today’s passage is significant.  “Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, ‘. . . Be made clean.'” 

No one who witnessed the event could possibly miss the significance of Jesus’ touch.  In that culture, to touch a leper rendered a person unclean, i.e., unfit to be in company with others, and thus in a quarantine of sorts.  Jesus’ desire to show mercy to the leper ignores that prescription and boldly provides the healing touch that is so needed by this isolated individual. 

The boldness of Jesus in healing this “untouchable” invites a boldness on our part, a boldness that trusts unfailingly in Jesus’ healing mercy.  We are invited to confidently beg Jesus to touch the untouchable parts of our lives and world, the places where we are isolated by shame, fear, the burdens of our lives and of those for whom we care.  Jesus stands ready to heal with the touch of his loving mercy.  Let’s not allow anything to prevent us from offering to him the places where we need him most.

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