My dear sisters and brothers,
Praise Jesus our healer!
The Gospel this weekend (Mark 1:40-45) is a story of a man with leprosy, it is not a lesson on skin problems. It is a piece of good news about a caring God, who heals us from the greatest malady represented by that which, back in Jesus’ day was most visibly upsetting. Leprosy now is rare – at least the kind that St. Damien the leper of Molokai eventually suffered from after spending years of dedicated care, service and compassion to lepers.
Ash Wednesday is happening this week, we undertake the journey of a sincere conversion and of rediscovering the implications of our baptismal commitments in our daily life. As we begin the Lenten Season, the call to conversion, symbolized by the imposition of the ashes, resounds even louder and clearer. It is a call to penance, to prayer rooted in faith, to authenticity, to the rejection of any form of ostentation. This Ash Wednesday should mark for us a “back to basics,” which will enable us to prepare ourselves for a lasting sharing in Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.
May our Eucharistic celebration bring us ever closer to the divine Model and instill in all of us an active compassion toward those who are marginalized. This weekend is also “World Day of the Sick.”
Let us remember and pray for all modern-day lepers who are rejected and edged out of mainstream society in any way, most especially those who suffer from terminal illness.
Have a blessed week!
God Loves You!
~ Fr. Neil