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RELIGION LITURGY AND LIFE

6TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

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Last Wednesday  on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes we as the universal Church celebrated the world day of prayer for the sick this year  the theme chosen by pope Francis was “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” (Job 29:15). On that day we prayed in a special way for the sick and those who care for them. This Sunday in our parish we celebrate the anointing of the Sick and the reading from the Gospel is the healing of the leper. Our Gospel story tells us  about the Leper going to Jesus who healed him but it is about much more than just the healing, it is about the faith that the leper had in Jesus. It is also about the faith we have in Jesus.  After he heals him Jesus tells the man to be silent. He wants the miracle to be personal and quiet for a purpose. The man is to go first to the priests and go through the ritual cleansing prescribed in Leviticus (14:1ff.) Maybe the priests would ask the man how he was cured and then they would hear about Jesus. Who better to give witness to Jesus than someone whose life has been changed by him? Who better to witness to the strength, joy, encouragement, hope and direction that Jesus gives us than one who has been transformed by him?  The man’s life was changed not by any observance of religious codes or rituals, but by Jesus’ compassion, touch and words. We have to ask ourselves are our own lives changed by the words and compassion of Jesus?

Do we  show the same confidence in Jesus that the leper did?  Do we allow ourselves to be transformed by the compassion and words of Jesus in order to show the compassion of Jesus to others? Each one of us know what needs to be put right in our own situation, where we are and as we begin Lent next Wednesday we stop and thank God for the faith we have. May we share the healed man’s enthusiasm to make known the goodness of God. As we begin the season of Lent  with the Ashes next Wednesday with all the opportunities it provides for renewal of our spiritual lives Let us pray for a spirit of compassion and understanding as we journey through Lent to the great celebration of Holy Week and Easter.

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