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Mark 1:40-45 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
Mark 1:40-45

A. Text/Context
• We have just heard yet another miracle that Jesus performed in the cleansing of a leper in the gospel today
• As of this time Jesus has already become very popular among the population; like a real celebrity, he is mobbed by people wherever he goes
• It was the leper who was cleansed by the disease who was responsible in broadcasting the miracle that occurred in spite of the stern warning that Jesus gave, not do so
• Jesus told the leper to show himself to the high priest because according to the law it is the priest who will declare if the leper is already clean or still unclean
• This is really what happened when there is so much joy in our heart and we cannot rally contain it merely for ourselves but we want everybody to know
• The leper who was cleansed was so overjoyed nobody can put a stop to tell everyone of the good news that he is already healed and cleansed from such a horrible Hansenites’s disease which we call it today
• Jesus has freed the leper from the bondage of discrimination from the shackles of shame and indignation because the leper was healed from the repugnant disease

B. Human Situation
• The gospel has a stark similarity if we apply its message to our ordinary life as Christians
• In the 1st reading in the Book of Leviticus, the leper is segregated from the dwelling place of the majority of the population because a leper is considered unclean
• The reason for this is that this is actually the mindset of the people that sickness is associated with sinfulness
• For the Jews, when one is suffering from sickness or suffering from any debilitating disease they would look at it as some kind of a punishment from God
• But we know very well today that whether we commit a sin or not, whether we are righteous or arrogant, generous or selfish, just the same, still, we all get sick
• Even babies who have done nothing wrong still get sick because of a germ or a bacteria or a virus, not because they are sinners
• It is very different today because we can see from our own eyes how a virus can destroy the immune system of the body through the tests conducted in the laboratory
• So we cannot blame the people in Leviticus for being so discriminatory about the sick people. It was the best decision for them in their own time
• That is why it is really wrong to judge history according to how we see it with our present perspective. We have to be in their own shoes so that we can understand their situation
• Now we can only imagine the overflowing joy of the leper when he was healed by Jesus, and you simply cannot stop him
• And while the leper is very happy telling everyone of the good news it also has adverse effects on Jesus himself
• While it might look very good that Jesus becomes so popular for the healing miracles performed as told and retold by the broadcast of the leper because, it also has its own negative effects on Jesus
• The popularity of Jesus could also stifle his very own mission especially at this time that he is just starting his ministry. Now, Jesus cannot even enter a town openly because he is mobbed by the people because of their endless needs
• They want to listen to him, they want to touch him, they want to be healed, etc.
• The consequence of his popularity is that everybody would want him to become a king and with that he will not be able to finish his mission of salvation for all because he might not die on the cross
• When we become popular, everybody trails us. Did you still remember Princess Diana? Every magazine in the world wants her to be in the columns of their publication
• She doesn’t like it anymore. In fact, the paparazzi is blamed for her death in Paris
• The former 1st Lady Imelda Marcos used to tag along with her the media through television wherever she goes showing her projects
• Well, she knows propaganda and she used it to the hilt. And the same media portrayed her 3 thousand pairs of shoes so negatively after the fall of the dictatorship
• Always remember this, our good qualities can soar us to fame and popularity but they can also be the cause of our own downfall and shame at the same time
• So you see, our own positive qualities are also our own negative qualities at the same time
• What I mean is that if we become famous and popular because we are so eloquent in speeches and debates, we are so skilled in our profession, at the same time it can also be the cause of our own downfall because many will be discontented if they are not served, many will be envious because people are running after us
• We must be cautious of the praises heaped upon us because they are really very seductive. They can be misleading
• We must remember that the praises of men are empty!
• Jesus knows very well about this that is why he warned the leper not to tell anyone about the wonders that he did

C. Challenge
• So today, we are reminded to exercise our work and our assignments in silence and in love and dedication
• Do not get offended if other people will not greet you. Even if you are very popular some people still would not know you especially the poor, when their day to day preoccupation is survival
• In my experience as administrator I know of people who would even say: do you not know who is in front of you?
• There are people who would give long résumés introducing their own selves
• Rather, we must just wait because if we do our duties faithfully, we don’t even have to advertise
• There will be people who will mouth it out for us because they have witnessed how we work and they are our very own recipients
• St Paul in the 2nd reading said this as he reminded the Christians living in the city of Corinth that whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do everything for the glory of God and not for our own fame or for any self -serving interests or self aggrandizement
• If we express our work in silence, in love and in dedication, the others will see them and they will mouth it out for us
• Our source of strength will be the words of St. Paul that whatever we do is for the glory of God
• In the end, just like the leper who was freed from the bondage of shame and isolation
• We too shall remain undaunted, even with the most difficult problem that we encounter, even with the most severe criticism that we receive
• We will remain steadfast because we are governed with principles and we believe that for every good work that we do, God is always the author

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Mark 1 verse 40-45

Mark 1 verse 40-45

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