Gospel Reflections

6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 1:40-45

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Edna Maier

Published: February 11, 2018


A happy healing coincidence greets us today!  The Gospel presents us with a hope-filled leper who takes daring steps which lead to healing in his encounter with Jesus. This event parallels, if you will, today’s calendar feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Even though not liturgically paired, I feel an inner invitation to remember and to celebrate their common ground of healing which continues to “make the wounded whole” in our time.

I Remember. . .

I was only a little 8 year old girl in Philadelphia when my first healing awareness came to light through a movie. The Song of Bernadette had come to our neighborhood theater and all students from all eight grades of our Resurrection School walked the eight blocks to see the special showing arranged just for us by our good Sisters. I have never forgotten that movie and I still remember the first miracle that was portrayed by a hopeful woman, one of the first who approached the healing waters of Lourdes, with her tiny baby who was very sick. She placed her baby in the waters and the baby was healed!  It was the beginning of so many miracles at Lourdes.

Years Later. . .

 A trip to visit Lourdes was a special dream of mine that was finally realized about ten years ago. Another Sister and I were able to add a 3-day visit to Lourdes to our otherwise planned itinerary.  It was a faith-filled experience, providing so much more wisdom, understanding, and blessing of God’s generosity with His healing gifts than any of us could ever imagine.  In my mind’s eye, I can still visualize the hundreds of crutches that had been left behind by pilgrims who no longer needed them since they had been healed. Lourdes has made a permanent, holy dent in my heart that I will never forget.   The Leper. . .

 It only takes a spark to get a fire going.   It only takes some faith and hope to find healing.  At least that’s what so many Bible healings teach us.  In today’s Gospel, the leper obviously believes in the healing power of Jesus.  His faith is echoed in this phrase, “If you want to, you can make me clean.”  But the leper is also taking a risk by approaching Jesus so closely. One of the taboos in Leviticus for those with skin disease prohibits this very closeness.  But Jesus is moved with pity and He responds with both Word and Touch, in similar disregard of the Law. Healing happens.  The leper is healed and renewed and ready to be once again a part of the community. However the leper does not pay attention to Jesus request, “See that you say nothing to anyone…” And he told everyone!  The spark of that leper’s healing had happened. The fire of community faith had been lit.  One healing had ignited a believing crowd!   Healing Thoughts. . .

I think of the many healings which have blest so many of our brothers and sisters through the years. We are family. Their stories are our stories. Our memorable yesterdays can instill special hope in our hearts for on-going healing gifts of God.   I believe in the blessed assurance of so many folks today, who with their hope-filled dreams continue to sign us with healing hope for those who are “standing  in the need of prayer”.  As it was in beginning during the ministry of Jesus; as it continues to be in our times; and as healing ever shall be, let us rejoice in God’s Gift of Healing.

 

 

« View all Gospel Reflections