Sunday’s first reading isn’t just about old school public health.
Back then, there was an idea that the outside showed you what was inside. If I’m unclean on the outside, it’s because I’m unclean on the inside.
A closely related idea was that whatever made me unclean – illness, disease, misfortune, poverty, etc. – was caused by my sin.
If I’m suffering, it’s because I did something bad. I deserve what’s happening to me.
For someone who’s suffering, that just makes it worse. It’s jumping on top of someone who’s already down. In football it’s called piling on. And there’s a penalty for doing it.
While illness and misfortune aren’t connected to sin, the first reading does show us something that is completely connected to sin.
Sin separates. It separates us from God. And it separates us from each other.
More on this tomorrow.