by Fr. Wandile M Dlamini OSM
Theme: Although the first human beings, who were created to be full alive and healthy, sinned against God, God sent his Son Jesus to restore them to full life and health by reconciling them with God, neighbour, and themselves.
FIRST READING: Leviticus 13:1-2,44-45
This reading concerns the regulations enforced by the priests regarding certain bodily ailments which made a person to be considered unclean and a menace to the health of his neighbours. These laws about skin diseases reflect a theological not a medical concern. Because the Lord was the author of life, nothing that presented death was supposed to come into contact with anything that was part of the worship of God (the altar, priests, holy objects).
Since some of these ailments caused the skin to peel away just as skin rots and peels away from the corpse. Because such skin ailments resembled death, the afflicted people had to remove themselves from the community so that they didn’t “spread death” into God’s holy realm.
SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
This reading speaks of our imitation of Paul as he imitates Christ for the sake of the Gospel, as well as of the unity of the church of God.
In reference to the phrase “whether therefore ye eat or drink”- there is one maxim of which no christian must lose sight-that whether he eats or drinks of this or the other kind of ailments or whatever else he may do, he must do it so as to bring glory to God.
GOSPEL: Mark 1:40-45
In this gospel of St Mark we see both the divine power and the divine compassion of Jesus in this act of healing. The divine power was necessary in all instantaneous cures. Even if the ailments were curable, the ordinary process of nature took time to fight off the causes and to return to normality. Therefore, when there was an instantaneous recovery some power above nature, some supernatural cause brought it about. But where the disease was incurable, as real leprosy then was, to remove it by a simple word of command was more emphatically still the result of divine power. This divine power Jesus had, for he was himself, the Son of the living God.