February 14: Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46; Psalm: 32; 2. 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Gospel: Mark 1:40-45;
Listening to these readings, God clearly wills for everyone a share in the well-being and goodness that he decreed for all humanity in the very beginning. Ever since that moment, human acts have worked against that state of harmony and blessing. So, this Sunday’s biblical texts acquaint us with the larger story of God’s efforts to reclaim us for himself.
The Leviticus passage compares that human condition to the situation of someone afflicted with a serious skin disease, often identified as leprosy. What is of the essence here, however, is the need to isolate this unclean person from the rest of society. This fact obviously hints that healing is necessary for this person to be restored to normal human contact. Separation, therefore, conjures up a real sense of what it means to belong to a group, and live as God intended.
Paul’s preaching is neatly summed up in the words of the second reading. His commitment is plain, to work for Christ, so that many be saved. So, Paul and his life’s work suggest a model for us. We too are called to announce Christ’s transforming power, so that all humanity may belong to him.
In Mark, Jesus’ compassion for the leper speaks volumes about the Lord’s ministry and outreach. Healing this poor man, and restoring him to normal community life, dramatically reveals what Jesus brings to anyone on the margins. And, in the spirit of the healed man excitedly spreading the good news about Jesus, this text’s content encourages us to be vigorous proclaimers of this message.
Because of what we hear and see in today’s readings, we are invited to renew our appreciation for the faith we share. And, also, we are drawn closer to Jesus, the Good News for a world often lacking hope and true communal support.