6th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year B Dimanche de la 6e semaine, du Temps Ordinaire année ’B’

“Feeling sorry for that man, Jesus stretched out his hand and said’ I am willing. Be cleansed.”
Tuesday 17 March 2015 — Latest update Tuesday 20 October 2015

I. 13, 1-2, 45-46 Ps. 101 1 Co. 10, 31-11, Mk. 1, 40-45

x I. 13, 1-2, 45-46 Ps. 101 1 Co. 10, 31-11, Mk. 1, 40-45

Sunday 15th February 2015

Week 1 to 10 : 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year B

“A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees saying : If you are willing, you can cleanse me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him , and said to him, I am willing, be cleansed.And at once the skin disease left him and he was cleansed.”

Where are the new lepers in today’s world? Whoever is called “impure” feels himself a sinner, rejected not only from the human community, but also, in the same movement, rejected by God.

People who bear witness to suffering give us a perception of the distress this entails. We can also go through distressing periods in our spiritual life.

What can we do when faced with these difficulties of our life? The degree of distress we feel can have us feel rejected by men, by God. “Compassionate God. Merciful God.”

What may takes us most by surprise is that sin attracts the Heart of Our Saviour. Jesus manifests to us the Tenderness of our Father. “He feels sorry for this man.” This communion is salvific for those being rejected and who feel like lepers. They “feel” that nothing nor anyone are paying attention to them. This rejection can at times be lived out in one’s own family, we may feel rejected by those whom we expect to welcome us.

This man throws himself at the feet of Jesus : “If you want to, you can purify me!” Jesus’ mission is given to us in the Gospel. Jesus is going to stretch out his hand and touch him. God’s face is manifested in the Infinite Love of Jesus . Jesus carries humanity plunged into misery.

“And at once Jesus sent him sternly away and said to him , ’Mind you tell no-one anything, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your cleansing prescribed by Moses as evidence to them.”

This cry of the psalm is a light for us ,announced by Jesus. And so the face of a Compassionate God emerges, the Good and Tender Jesus. How greatly do we need the Merciful God. The benevolent mercy of men is the sign of this. It moves us far from us that pain linked to sickness or sinfulness that proves too great a load for us to bear. It is a sign of the merciful judgement of God who is present among his people. Now, God is present in the heart of his people even more so when his people suffers. The message of Jesus is to manifest Tender Love to the world, this Compassionate and Merciful Heart of God. Each form of poverty, whether affective, physical, psychological , calls forth the gift of God. It is the Mystery of the Incarnation, of the Coming of Jesus in human flesh. It is God who comes to us to heal us and to save us. In this divine touch, when this man is touched by Jesus, he is healed. This man had taken on his misery keeping hope. “Beyond” his misery, he continued to remain in the hope of Israel : today, God saves his people. How can we dwell in our misery and at the same time dwell in something much deeper than our misery :the gift of God, thus letting progressively the gift of God come down into the depths of our misery. This is the movement of this man and of Jesus, who stretches forth his hand to touch this man. We know that this touch of human misery, of its violence is crystallized in an unbelievable way on the Cross. Jesus will be touched to death.

“The man went away, but then started freely proclaiming and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but stayed outside in deserted places.Even so, people from all around kept coming to him.”

Jesus had pity on him and healed him, but he wants to remain discreet, for he wants to do God’s work without shining, without any propaganda, like the Servant

of Yahweh who does not cry out in public places. Jesus will be touched by the entire misery of the whole of humanity, starting from the beginning of time. He will conquer it by His Love. We have a hard time recognizing our misery, accepting ourselves just as we are. This leper who had been excludes puts into question all our conventions. Jesus goes further than the Law of Moses, He overflows with the Loving Tenderness of God. “If you want , you can heal me!” It is humanity’s cry that is addressed today to Jesus. Yes,still today, we are invited to remain in this mouvement lying at the bottom of our heart. God is there, He hears this cry and wants to free us . Saint Thérèse of Lisieux wrote to her sister Céline : “If you want to bear this trial peacefully not out of self approval, it is true that you shall suffer because you will be at the door of your own self, but do not be afraid ; the poorer you are the more Jesus loves you,”

Without any hesitation we can ask like this man the grace to cry forth : ’Lord, if you want, you can purify me.