February 12, 2012: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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. (Mark 1:40-45)
I often wonder why Jesus told so many persons he cured not to tell anyone about what he had done. Surely people would know–when they saw that the person was no longer crippled–and they would wonder who did it. Maybe Jesus didn’t want people to come to him and listen to what he said only because he cured people. Or maybe he always wanted persons to listen to his message about his Father and how much He loved him, yet when he saw someone in distress he simply needed to help that person out of his misery. We will never know why Jesus did things. But we do know that it was because of His love for everyone, whether they were rich or poor, that He wanted to give them the gift of a better life, just as he wants to give us that gift also.
Sometime today take a few minutes to stop and think about Jesus, especially about the many times He stopped to talk with someone as he was walking along. Can you imagine what he looked like? Often people stopped to talk with him, so he must have had a kind look on his face. And he seemed to have a special love for crippled persons, who suffered more than others. Think about how you look to other persons–do they want to stop and talk with you? Do you want to stop and talk with them? Why or why not?
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