Saturday, February 14, 2009
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B
LEVITICUS 13:1-2, 44-46
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "If someone has on his skin a scab
or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall
be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his
descendants. If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall
declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head. "The one who
bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head
bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, 'Unclean,
unclean!' As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself
unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his
abode outside the camp."
1 CORINTHIANS 10:31--11:1
Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do
everything for the glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to the
Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I try to please everyone
in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that
they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you
wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his
hand, touched him, 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. 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.
One of the things that stand out in the Gospels is Jesus' compassion.
He certainly could feel with and identify himself with the suffering
people. In Jesus' time and even today, a leper is somebody many will
avoid. Perhaps, more than the physical it is the psychoemotional
experience of rejection and abandonment the lepers suffer.
It is here that we see the compassion of Jesus. He not only healed the
leper, but he reached out and touched him – a gesture of love and
caring, even if this touching would render Jesus him legally "unclean"
for temple worship.
Jesus, the Son of God became man, is truly human: not only in mind and
tongue, but in feelings and senses. And just as humanly, he touched –
not only the lovely face of his mother, but also the lifeless skin of
a leper. In fact, his touch was as much par t of his saving mission as
his redemptive mission, as his words and his prayers. He touched to
heal: not only leprosy but also the leper, not flesh but the wound
that is sin and the hurt that scars the human hear t.
Have we ever felt the touch of Jesus upon us? Try to take a moment:
Close our eyes. Try to feel the healing touch of Jesus on our head or
on our shoulder. Feel him embracing us in his love. Hear his words,
"Your sins are forgiven. Be made clean." "Open your eyes, your ears,
and your tongue. Stand and walk."
Now, we turn from Jesus to ourselves. What is it that moves us, gets
inside us, and stirs our emotion, our passion? For some men and women,
nothing does. They've been deeply hurt – in loving or trusting, in
giving and sharing – with the number of rascals and syndicates that
exploit human compassion. Nothing, no one is ever going to get them
fooled again. They throw up a big wall between themselves and the
other. From now on it is strictly business – impersonal.
To be Christian is to "feel with." But that is simply one side of the
coin. The other side: When we are moved, how do we respond? When
touched, do we touch? Touch has many faces. There is the touch of the
terrorist: cold, cruel, and destructive. There is the touch of the
swindler: smooth, cunning, and deceptive. And there is the touch of
someone who cares: at once strong and gentle, the kind of touch that
brings healing and peace – the touch of Christ.
To be effective, touch does not have to be physical. Skin touches skin
is powerful beyond compare if i t is a symbol, if it says something
like, "I care" or "I'm sorry" or "I love you." But whether we make
physical contact or not is not always important; what is important is
that we are reaching out. It is hearts that have to touch, even when
hands do not.
There's something quite unusual about touching. To reach out, we don't
need to be rich or be someone famous. We don't even need hands. What
we need is what we have, what we are: flesh and blood. We need only
the compassion God gave us, when He shaped us. The trouble is, we bury
and stifle ourselves beneath all sorts of accumulated baggage, all
those very human reasons that imprison us inside ourselves: "I'm
terribly shy"; "I've had a rough day" - a thousand and one excuses.
Lent is around the corner. With it the recurring Catholic question:
What shall I give up? A favorite food, movies or alcohol? Or, the
waistline penance – fasting and dieting? Forget about giving up;
simply give! Not something; someone. Give ourselves! Follow Christ in
his compassion. Walk the same old Jericho road, but now with eyes
open, heart outstretched. Time and again we'll come upon someone –
friend, enemy, stranger – someone who calls to us for a little of our
life, a touch of our heart.
If we hear that silent cry, try not to pass by on the other side. That
silent cry … it just might be Jesus.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Christy Chin
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Mr. Chan Huan Yan. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he and
all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Claire S. Diokno
- Birthday: Allan Ramos
- Birthday: Rogelio Vicencio
- Wedding Anniversary: Sunny & Peter Calibo
- Wedding Anniversary: Tony & Jennifer Gotamco Tan
- Wedding Anniversary: Fred & Carol David
- Wedding Anniversary: Gil & Marie Guanio
- In Memoriam (+): Narciso Tarun Guingab
- In Memoriam (+): Salud Nuqui Inocentes (Feb 14,1914-Oct 23,1978)
- In Memoriam (+): Vicente F. Fabella
… 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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