Today’s first reading and gospel reading talk about leprosy. Leprosy was a dreaded and fatal disease, that ate up the human flesh. As we heard in the First Reading from the Book of Leviticus, chapter 13, verses 1 to 2, and 44 to 46, ‘If a man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.’ If the person becomes cleansed of leprosy, they will have to present themselves to the priest who will declare them clean. Then, they can return to their homes and live among the community.

Our gospel reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark, chapter 1, verse 40 to 45, tells us a story of how a leper broke the so-called protocol by approaching Jesus for healing. He must have heard a lot about Jesus and wanted to be healed, that was why he went to Jesus for healing, fearlessly and courageously. This Gospel reading while pointing out the faith, courage, humility and trust exhibited by the leper, emphasizes Christ’s love, charity and compassion towards us His children.

God never stops loving us; He never stops caring for us; and He never stops being compassionate to us. This is why Jesus continues to heal us daily as His children in the Catholic Church through the Sacraments. In Baptism, Jesus cleanses our original sin, and makes us His brothers and sisters and co-heirs of His kingdom in heaven. In the Mass, He feeds us with His Word in the readings, then dwells in us as He feeds us with His Body and Blood in Communion. In Confirmation, He bestows the Holy Spirit and its gifts upon us as He promised us. In Confession, our sins are absolved by the priest and God forgives us our sins. In the Anointing of the Sick, Jesus heals and strengthens our weak and ailing bodies as well as our souls. In Holy Matrimony, He blesses and calls couples to service by making their marriage union holy and sanctified. In Holy Orders, He lays His hand upon the clergy to empower them serve Him by ministering to His people. Hence, God never stops loving us, caring for us and being compassionate to us. So now you can imagine why the leper who was healed could not stop thanking God and telling others what Christ had done for him, even after Jesus warned him not to.

My dear brothers and sisters, how grateful are you to God for all His blessings, graces and mercies to you? How do you approach Him when you need something from Him? How do you recognize His presence in your life as a sinner? How do you come back to Him in repentance? It is time to take a cue from the leper’s approach to Jesus in today’s gospel reading. Let us go to Jesus like he did, fearlessly and courageously, with absolute trust in Him, with humility, and with faith, because He loves us, cares about us and is compassionate to us.