A Moment before the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Leviticus) is about leprosy.  Back then, when someone had leprosy there was no cure.  If you were suspected of being a leper, a priest would examine you and decide.  If you were a leper, they made you live away from everyone else to keep it from spreading. 

The Old Testament reading is the backstory for Sunday’s Gospel (Mark).  In the Gospel, the man who comes to Jesus for help is a leper.  He’s forced to live away from everyone and he’s desperate.  Without a miracle, he’s as good as dead. 

Jesus heals him.  And then tells the man to the go to the priest, so that he can be declared clean.  Without doing that, even though he’s healed, the man cannot return to his family and his community.  Which is why Jesus is so forceful with him. 

Jesus heals.  Not just diseases, but lives.