Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Today is a familiar scene: a leper approaches Jesus, falls to his knees and pleads for healing from our Lord.  For this leper, life must have been truly terrible until this point.  Having been cast out from his family and his entire community, the man was surely covered in not just sores but shame.  Yet instead of further shunning him, we hear that Jesus, being “moved with pity…stretched out his hand,” then made physical and verbal contact with him.

Many have seen the photo of Pope Francis reaching out to a man covered with horrendous disfigurements.  The man reported, “He embraced me without speaking … I quivered. I felt a great warmth.” For him, it was no doubt a life-changing encounter with unconditional acceptance.  How do we also need the experience of our “sores” and  “disfigurements” being touched by the perfect, incarnate love of God?

January 16th, 2014