Sunday, February 15, 2015

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, February 15, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - 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. 44 If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head. 45 “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!’ 46 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.”

P S A L M - Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11
R: I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. 2Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. (R) Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, “I confess my faults to the Lord,” and you took away the guilt of my sin. (R) 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart. (R)

2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1
31 Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32 Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 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. 11:Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

A great prophet has arisen in our midst, God has visited his people.
Mark 1:40-45
40A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” 41Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” 42The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. 43Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 44He 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.” 45The 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.



Our thoughts and expectations influence our external state of affairs. While we do not always get what we deserve in life, we usually get no more than what we expect. As the principle says, we receive what we believe.

        In today’s Gospel, we hear of Jesus healing a man with leprosy. If you want to know how the ancient world of the Bible treated people and looked upon people with leprosy, read the First Reading and you will no doubt feel what a leper in those times most likely felt, which is as good as dead. A leper is rejected, isolated, stripped of his rights to community, and barred from considering himself a member of humanity. Every leper should know his place and remind himself of these as he is required by law to shout “unclean, unclean” (Leviticus 13:44) whenever he finds himself within hearing distance of people.

       I find it surprising that we see none of these in the leper of Mark’s Gospel. He resisted to be treated as a living dead. He refused to be isolated and marginalized. Against what I imagine to be resistance of the people to let him get near Jesus, he boldly approached the Lord believing within what is rightful to every believing Jew.

       His external circumstance tells him he is as good as dead. His internal image tells him he is a child of God. The leper believed he is more than what society says and thinks him to be. Jesus affirmed his faith.

       Psychologists and sociologists teach that 20 percent of our life is determined by what happens to us. What comprises the 80 percent? What we make happen, that is, how we respond to the 20 percent that happens to us. I believe the leper belonged to the 80 percent group. In this regard, it’s good to be in the company of the leper.

       Make things happen — in God’s gracious way and in His perfect time! Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: What dominates your life direction right now — those things that happen to you or those that you can make happen?

Give me, Lord, the freedom of a child of God. Arouse in me the power that I can, with Your grace, chart my destiny. Amen.

St. Claude la Colombiere, pray for us.

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