Wednesday, January 14, 2009
THURSDAY 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
THURSDAY 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR I
The Holy Spirit says: Oh, that today you would hear his voice, "Harden
not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the
desert, where your ancestors tested and tried me and saw my works for
forty years. Because of this I was provoked with that generation and I
said, "They have always been of erring heart, and they do not know my
ways." As I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter into my rest.""
Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil and
unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God. Encourage
yourselves daily while it is still "today," so that none of you may
grow hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ
if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you
wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his
hand, touched the leper, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made
clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then,
warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him,
"See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the
priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will
be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize the whole
matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for
Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
In today's Gospel Jesus heals a leper. But, who are the lepers of
today? The lepers of today are all those whom we or our society deem
unworthy of our love. Lepers are symbolic of those from whom basic
dignity and respect are withheld.
Today we are more subtle in the ways we prevent people from being part
of the community. We erect barriers that allow us to be separated from
them, all the while maintaining an illusion of moral superiority.
Examples of modern lepers abound. Modern lepers are the elderly whom
our society declares to be obsolete and useless. We reject those who
have had abortions. We shun prostitutes. We find sinners totally
unacceptable. But Jesus always loved sinners with the hope that they
would change. We are continually being challenged to find loving and
creative ways to minister to them. The examples are numerous. Thus the
opportunities to heal and to love are numerous as well.
There is no clearer example of what is required of us than today's
story of Jesus healing the leper. Jesus is moved with pity. Jesus did
not often heal at a distance. The Gospel tells us that Jesus stretched
out his hand and touched the leper. Jesus risked contamination and
condemnation by his own Jewish people because he knew that real
healing comes through involvement and the willingness to risk touching
others in a caring, loving way. As Jesus did, so we are asked to care
for one another.
Today as we remember the Lord's love for us, let us keep in mind that
we are all lepers of a sort. We all need to be cleaned and healed.
There is that tremendous need that is met by the tremendous love of
Jesus. Let us go forth and celebrate our cleansing and healing by
ministering to those who need to hear these words: "You are accepted.
You are loved. You are cleansed by love."
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Sophia Gonzalez
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Imelda Reyes
… for the healing and peace of all families
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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