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And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
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See Yourself in the Story
Welcome back to Radical and Relevant, where we're exploring the genius of Catholicism, the genius of the Gospels, and how to apply the wisdom of each day's Gospel to our lives. Today's Gospel comes from Mark 1:40-45, Jesus Encounters the Leper. And a leper came to Him beseeching Him and kneeling, said to Him, "If you will it, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, He stretched out His hand and touched him and said to him, "I will it. Be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And He sternly charged him and sent him away at once and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded for a proof to the people." But he went out and began to talk freely about it and to spread the news so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town but was out in the country. And people came to him from every quarter.
It's a beautiful reading. There's so much here. One of the things that strikes me is the faith of the leper. He comes to Jesus and says, "If you will it, you can make me clean." And Jesus - what do we read about Jesus? - is moved with pity. Now, how often in our lives are we moved with pity? But what does Jesus do? He acts. Sometimes when we're moved with pity-- sometimes when we see a real problem or a real crisis, we're moved with pity. We talk about it or we think about it or we wonder about it. But what does Jesus do? He acts. He's moved with pity, and He acts.
And He says, "I do will it," and "Be clean." And so the leper is healed. And Jesus says, "Don't tell anyone." And what does the leper do? He goes tell everybody. And he goes and tells everybody. How do you feel about that? When you think about that, when you read that in the gospel. And Jesus has just completely changed this guy's life, cured him of leprosy, and simple request, "Hey. Don't tell anyone about this." And then he goes out and does exactly the opposite. How do you feel about that? What do you think about that? What are your thoughts on the leper? Because whatever your thoughts are on the leper, they're your thoughts on me and they're your thoughts on yourself because we act like the leper all the time. We act like that.
God has blessed us ultra-abundantly, super abundantly. And then He asks us to do simple things and we go and we do the complete opposite. Just like the leper did. And so part of learning to read the Scriptures, learning to experience the Scriptures, allowing the Scriptures to transform our soul, our character, our lives is learning to see ourselves in each and every single person in the Gospels.
And today that means seeing ourselves in the leper. Virtue of the day is obedience. Obedience means to listen deeply. The leper, he listened to Jesus. He didn't listen deeply. And when we don't listen deeply, we're more likely to throw off what we hear. We're more likely to ignore what we hear even when it is great wisdom, even when it is very clearly the will of God. Have a great day. God bless you. God bless your family. Be a blessing to everyone you encounter today. And remember, don't just be yourself. Be the very best version of yourself, all that God created you to be.