Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, 11th February 2024

Whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God’

The theme of today’s readings is God’s loving compassion and healing. We, too, are called to be loving, as well as pure and holy.

Two of the readings speak of leprosy: a disease that can now be cured, but at the time was seen as a punishment for sin. The belief was that either the leper or one of their family had offended God in some way. The First Reading reveals the requirements imposed on lepers. They were to make themselves physically unattractive, so that people would know they were unclean, and to live apart, outside the city walls. They were thus sentenced to indefinite exile from their community and excluded from worship.

The leper we meet in the Gospel breaks the law because of his faith. He approaches Jesus, pleading to be made clean. We see Jesus’s compassion, mercy, and healing power in curing him. The leper can be readmitted to his community once he has seen the priest, though conversely, Jesus now becomes the outcast.

In the Psalm we hear the joy of the psalmist who, in acknowledging and repenting of his sins, is confident of the Lord’s forgiveness.

The Second Reading calls us to be witnesses to Christ’s teaching in everything we do, whilst always being sensitive to others.

This week, I may like to pray for the courage, humility and faith of the leper in the Gospel, as I bring my own desires and needs to Jesus. I ask for the Spirit’s guidance to be loving and helpful to others at all times.