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Scripture Reflection - February 11, 2024


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46 | 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 | Mark 1:40-45


Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York Scripture Reflection


Today’s first reading speaks about the horrific treatment inflicted upon lepers in the Old Testament. Imagine if that were to happen today. Remember a moment in time, back in the eighties, when it did happen. I suppose where there is ignorance and fear, there is no limit to how humans might treat one another, no matter the time. In the eighties, those ostracized weren’t lepers, though they were often treated as such. They were primarily gay men who were afflicted with HIV and AIDS. The ignorance and fear surrounding this disease early on was the fuel that helped it to spread like wildfire. Fear and ignorance also caused shameful and humiliating treatment by others, even family members, friends, and the medical profession. Ignorance and fear were also behind the delayed response of our government in providing aid and funding for treatment and research. I speak about this only as a reminder the unholy response to lepers in the Old Testament is still with us today - fear and ignorance. Though not often spoken of then or now, some also believed these afflictions were punishment from God.

 

Today’s second reading finds Paul in good spirits and somewhat easygoing in tone. His message was short and to the point: give glory to God in all things and be good to others.

 

In today’s Gospel, Mark speaks about Jesus healing a leper. Very different response this time. Unlike the Old Testament, the heart of the Father is transformed through his son; a new covenant is made known. 

 

When the leper said to Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean,” Jesus responded, “I do will it…”. Such powerful words remain true even today. Jesus wills good, not evil; health, not sickness; and life, not death. As he asked the leper not to speak of his healing, Jesus sometimes asks something of us. It may be a personal request only to you or me, or it may be a general request to all. So, I asked myself, what is being asked of me through these readings today? 

 

It is my hope that I can get past my fears to make informed decisions and choices. I am responsible for searching for the truth, though sometimes it can be buried in murky ground. I think of our political climate and how important informed decision making is to our future well-being. I pray that God wills our good. 

 

As we prepare for this Lenten season, let’s remember that ignorance is not bliss, and fear can be overcome. Let’s search for that which gives glory to God and be kind to all we encounter, whether or not we agree or disagree with their beliefs. 

Amen.



 

Peggy Roach, Associate

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