In Jesus’ time, lepers were forced to exist outside the community, separated from family and friends and thus deprived of the experience of any form of human interaction. The first reading for this Sunday, from the book of Leviticus, outlines harsh laws for people with skin diseases. Throughout history, few diseases have been as dreaded as the horrible affliction known as leprosy. It was so common and severe among ancient peoples that God gave Moses extensive instructions to deal with it as evidenced in Leviticus. We read in Leviticus that lepers were to wear torn clothes, let their hair be dishevelled, and live outside the camp.
Jesus heals the leper – in many more ways than just his disease – and in so doing reveals his own identity.
Most of us will probably never encounter lepers. Nor will we know what it means to be completely ostracized by society. But there are other forms of leprosy today, which destroy human beings, kill their hope and spirit, and isolate them from society.
Join Fr Russell Pollitt SJ as he reflects on the readings for the 6th Sunday of the Year.
You can find the texts that this reflection is based on in your bible, or simply just hover your mouse over the following references and the texts will also appear:
Leviticus: 13:1-2,44-46; Psalm 32; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 & Mark 1:40-45
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