Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Marie Tighe, SNDdeN
February 14, 2021
Mark 1: 40-45
“Lord if you want to you can cure me.” Jesus saw the man’s tremendous courage in risking the anger of the people who shunned him and refused to allow him to come near to them. This man, this Leper, came to Jesus as if he were ready to let go of anything that was holding him back from being fully alive. He was ready to let go of any bitterness, resentment or depression. He was ready now to take up the responsibilities that being healed would involve. For that man Jesus’ response was “Of course I want to! Be cured!” We see this man restored not only to physical health, but also to the healing of his whole being. Now, as well as being reconciled to himself, this man was also reconciled to his community. Jesus recognized the complete abandonment of the Leper’s attitude to what Jesus himself wanted for him. “Lord, if YOU want to…”
We see the same attitude in Mary’s reply to God’s request for her to be the mother of the Son of God: “Let what you have said be done to me.” Jesus in the Our Father prays: “Thy will be done.” In his agony in the garden, we see how real that prayer was for Jesus in his own life and death situation: “Father, if you are willing take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done.” In our own day we see a similar attitude reflected in a Taize chant of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s prayer in the face of his death by the Gestapo.
‘God gather my thoughts to you. With you is light. You do not forget me. With you is help. With you is patience. I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.’
Maybe this is also our prayer during this time of the pandemic.
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul tells us that he had pleaded with the Lord three times for healing. The Lord did not heal him. Instead, the Lord told him that his grace was enough for him and that his power was at its best in Paul’s weakness. God likes and holds Paul in love just the way he is! This came home to me when Anna, then aged twelve took her brother who was seriously disabled to Mass one weekday. Richard was quite noisy and when the Mass was over Anna went into the sacristy and said to the priest, “Father, did my brother disturb you during Mass?” The priest replied, “No Anna, I saw it was Richard so I said a little prayer for him. I asked God to heal him.” Anna’s immediate response was, “Oh no Father, you must not do that! We like him as he is!” Anna has helped me to realize that like Paul, whether I am healed or not, God likes me and God holds me in love just the way I am.
A word to take into the week from the Prophet Jeremiah Chapter 31 verse 3.
Yahweh says this:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I am constant in my love for you.’
Mark 1: 40-45
A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: “If you want to” he said “you can cure me.” Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. “Of course I want to!” he said. “Be cured!” And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, “Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.” The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.
The Gospel of the Lord