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Jesus heals a leper and restores his honour!

Background Music: Panalangin by Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Shirly Benedictos

February 11, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Daily readings: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46, 1 Corinthians 10: 31-11:1, Mark 1:40-45

The liturgy of the Word of God deals with the reality of leprosy. It is a skin disease. It’s a curable disease today. It requires six months to one year of treatment. There are about 2 million lepers around the globe today. Casual contact does not result in infection. Prolonged and close contact with the infected person can be a risk in the long run.

During the time of the Old Testament and especially when the people were constantly on the move, it was considered a dreaded disease that created fear. It rendered people ritually unclean and socially alienated. They suffered in all the ways people. A leper at the time of Jesus breaks the social stigma and all the rules and thus finds a cure in Jesus.

The Levitical prescriptions of the law appointed priests as public health officers to diagnose lepers and decide the future course of action. The Levitical prescriptions of the law suggested social isolation to ensure the safety of both the leper and his community. What is deplorable is the connection society finds between the leper and his or her sins, and it considers the disease a punishment from God. The healing of Aaron and Miriam at the plea of Moses (cf. Deut 12:1–15; 24:9) and Naaman at the command of Prophet Elisha (cf. 2 Kgs 5:1–15) bear witness to the fact that God’s intervention could wipe away social alienation and exclusion.

The man displayed great enthusiasm in the second part of the miraculous healing of the leper. Despite the stern warning of Jesus, he goes around proclaiming this good news freely, to the extent that Jesus can no longer go openly in the town. We also notice that he never fulfills the prescribed law of receiving a certificate of healing from the priest. He knows that, as of now, nothing matters to him once Jesus chooses to heal him. Even today, there are lepers in the world. The cure is available to them. However, economic and social reasons have led to the ill-treatment and alienation of millions, far worse than the lepers, from society. All these socially excluded people need to find a place in our hearts and our communities.

St. Paul appeals to the Corinthian Christians to imitate him as he himself imitates Jesus Christ. The Son of God is the ultimate model to imitate. One can try to imitate Jesus, as Paul did. He made no difference between the Jews and the Greeks. Jesus made no difference between a leper and a demon-possessed person. He reached out to all those who needed him. That was, is, and will always be Jesus’ mission.

Call to Action for Catholic Living: What are the efforts that I make to reach out to the social and economic outcasts of the society in which I live?


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.