ST. JUDE PARISH
17 MOUNT OLIVE ROAD, BUDD LAKE, NEW JERSEY
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: February 11, 2018
The Gospel reading today tells us that Jesus, moved with pity, touched a leper and cured him. Jesus did something that, according to the law of Moses, He was not supposed to do: touch a leper. Lepers in Jesus’ time had to live in isolation because they were social outcasts. They had to face serious problems in three areas of life: physical, social and spiritual.
Leprosy was the most dreaded sickness; it was incurable. The sickness slowly eats away the body and the body deforms. Lepers were social outcasts. They had to live in a special place and they didn’t have connections with anyone. The only friends they could have would be other lepers. The leper in the spiritual way was someone who was considered to have committed a terrible sin, or perhaps was punished for the sins of his parents. For this reason the leper was viewed as someone that God didn’t like either. In this context, in this reality, Jesus touched the leper. By doing this, Jesus broke down the wall that separated Him from lepers.
Brothers and sisters: we need to tear down the barriers that separate us from others and build bridges of loving relationships. Jesus calls every one of us to demolish the walls that separate us from one another and to welcome the outcasts: homosexuals, prostitutes, AIDS victims, alcoholics, drug addicts, and marginalized groups such as single mothers, migrant workers and the mentally ill. Jesus wants to touch them, but He will do it through us. Let us examine the barriers we have created and approach God with a heart that is ready to welcome the outcasts in our society.