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All Issues > Volume 16, Issue 2

<< Sunday, February 13, 2000 >> 6th Sunday Ordinary Time
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
1 Corinthians 10:31—11:1

View Readings
Psalm 32
Mark 1:40-45

Similar Reflections


The leper "shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp." —Leviticus 13:46

Those Israelites afflicted with leprosy still belonged to the people of Israel, but could not participate in society due to their contagious state. Whenever anyone came near, the lepers had to "cry out, 'Unclean, unclean!' " (Lv 13:45) so that others wouldn't catch what they had.

In Christian circles, modern-day lepers might include those who are divorced or separated, suffer from depression, have unruly or retarded children, have an "unequally-yoked" spouse, etc. These suffering leper-Christians come to church services, but find that they often must "dwell apart," because their fellow parishioners might feel they'll catch "leprosy" themselves by getting too closely involved.

"Jesus stretched out His hand, touched" a leper, and he was cured (Mk 1:41-42). If you are not a Church-leper, "imitate Christ" (1 Cor 11:1). Your fellow lepers need you to reach out to them, touch them, and restore them to full fellowship with the community. If you are this kind of leper, take heart. Jesus especially identifies Himself with your condition (see Heb 13:12), so "go to Him outside the camp, bearing the insult which He bore" (Heb 13:13). He is "moved with pity" for you (Mk 1:41). He wills for you to be cured and restored in every way (Mk 1:41).

Prayer: Father, work through me to make this a Great Jubilee year for the outcast, the lowly, and the captives in my midst.
Promise: "I try to please all in any way I can by seeking, not my own advantage, but that of the many, that they may be saved." —1 Cor 10:33
Praise: Praise You, Jesus, for rising to new life and for vanquishing sin and death. Alleluia!
(This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 16, Issue 2
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