Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday's Sermon (Homily) on the Word of God and Cleansing, Renewal and God Purifying Leprosy, More

A story in contrasts.

That's what rests in Leviticus 13 and today's Gospel from Mark (1:40).

The disease is identified in Leviticus 13 in order for the leper to be declared "unclean."

That means the leper is ritually impure and excluded from the worship of God.

Lepers "dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp."

Disease does not fit with the ideal of purity in Leviticus 13.

However, Jesus does not simply identify impurity but becomes the source of purity.

Unlike the priest, Jesus has the power to make the leper clean and regenerate him back into the community of Israel, thanks be to God.  (The Greek word for Eucharist, what we do here at Mass, like Jesus at his Last Supper, is "eucharistan," meaning, "thanksgiving.")

Jesus invites the leper to show himself to the priest.  His role is reaffirmed so as to ID the difference between purity and impurity, thanks be to God.

Yet, Jesus' role and mission is higher, that is, to heal and bless with wholeness and holiness in order to be part of God's beloved community again.

Sin is like that.  It "misses the mark."

God's standard as told in the Ten Commandments and the laws of love of Jesus the Christ.

We Catholics, Christians, believe that in the sacrament of baptism, Jesus does for the leper what he does for us.

We are healed of spiritual infirmities to be placed among the People of God again, a phrase the second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-65) repeatedly calls parishioners, Christians, the flock fractured as it is in so many ways today in one's own heart where all dissension and sin starts.

"I will do it.  Be made clean,"   Jesus affirms that to each of us with the faith to ask for forgiveness and freedom from the enslavement of sin and death.

Like perhaps the most faithful follower of Jesus, Mary, mother of God, points the way and steers us to the Way, Truth and Life in the abundant life.

Now, let us go our way always submitting like her and the leper with a faith deep enough for Jesus to heal sin and  make  us whole.

Thanks be to God.

For our help is in the Name of the Lord!

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