Cure the isolation


6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 1:40-45

 The most typical understanding of today's reading is about how Jesus cured the leper. But the issue here is not just the leprosy.  Sometimes, it reflects how we treat the sick on the presumption that we are thankful we have no sickness such as they have.

God is a God of salvation. Unfortunately, the Old Testament reflected a law for those who have incurable diseases in those times - isolation.  It is not a sign of God's  concept of salvation; it is theirs, for the community had to survive.  There are many words for it - biases, prejudice, racism, judging, and condemning.

In the second reading, St. Paul advised Christians not to be anxious for one's own advantage but for the advantage of everybody else, "so that they may be saved."  This reflected more of the Christian spirit.

Yes, we need to take care of ourselves.  But let us not forget the needs of others - for physical healing as well as social healing.  How? 

First, have pity.  The miracle begins in the heart.  If we can't feel any mercy for our brothers and sisters, how can we help them?

Second, connect.  "I will. Be cured."  It's not just physical healing we're after.  Jesus healed the isolated soul.  How many of us have been too defensive of others who have been so aggressive against us?  Yet this is the time to reconcile, not alienate.  Find a way to connect.

Third, cure.  We may not have the physical medicine, but we have the best medicine of all - Jesus, who cured even death and sin with the power of the resurrection and grace. 

As we find the cure for COVID-19, let's not forget our Christian obligation to connect with the sick and infirm and shower them with God's love.

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