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Jesus Heals the Leper

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“You can make me clean” – According to St. Mark, the leper’s request stirred Jesus to his depths.  Even before he could speak, his hand was reaching out, touching the man’s spurned and suffering body, transforming it with tenderness.  Then speaking the words that explained his gesture and made his will effective, Jesus said, “I do will it.  Be made clean.”

Jesus then directed the healed man to, “Go, show yourself to the priest … offer what Moses prescribed; that will be proof.”  We are not sure whether the man went to the priests.  We do know he did not follow Jesus’ order to keep quiet.  Instead, he made Jesus the man of the moment and any hope Jesus had of entering a town quietly was lost.  If he did not go to the towns, they came to him.

What makes this story so powerful is the leper’s vulnerability, openness, and honesty followed by Jesus’ spontaneous and tender response. The man knew his need and was willing to expose it.  Although the society at this time refused him, he found in Jesus someone who had no fear of contamination or mortality.  The man with leprosy’s courage met Jesus’ freedom to love.  The combination of these two elements proclaimed the Gospel in the sight of the people.

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  We give thanks to God for the intercession of Our Lady and the blessings God bestows on our parish.

The season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17th . Take time now to prepare yourself for this season.  Ash Wednesday Masses will be celebrated at 8:30 am and 5:30 pm at Lourdes; and 8:30 am and 7 pm at Holy Family.

Finally, as we mark Valentine’s Day, I pray that like Jesus, we will all have the courage to meet the challenges of love.

Have a blessed week!  Fr. Len

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