Jesus emphasizes the human experience of healing and compassion, He goes right to the heart of the matter!
A disastrous defeat! And the ark was actually captured by the enemy. What went wrong? You may answer the question by saying, that the Ark of the Covenant, the sign of the presence of the Lord among them, didn't help the Israelite army. Throughout the biblical accounts of both Testaments the people are often chastised for allowing outward religious practice and observance to take the place of a genuine change of heart. And I would agree that this is "going to the core of the matter."
Today's story from Mark's Gospel is of the healing of a leper. The simple dialogue between the leper and Jesus preceding the act of healing shows that this was a true covenant story, a covenant act, "If you wish, you can make me clean." "I do will it. Be made clean." The story was related as an encounter between God and the people. Here stands Jesus Christ, who possesses healing power and is moved with pity for him. Here is a man who kneels in front of Jesus, suffering great in body and spirit, and a social outcast. Jesus emphasizes the human experience of healing and compassion, He goes right to the heart of the matter! As we acclaimed in the responsorial psalm: Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy (Ps 44).
I would like to end with this in our reflection today.
A man is more, much more, than bone and blood and meat. Blood and meat we treat alike when we fight in battle, and we give our orders to them and every man is as useful or not as his neighbor. But when he is hurt or dying or recovering, or longing for whatever it is he longs for, then-then there is something inside him that shows, in ways you cannot put your finger on, and it is the most true thing about him, and the most important.
- Paul Horgan
Points to Pray and Ponder. The human experience - our longings, desires, and hopes are the most important things inside each of us and God sees and knows them all! Throughout this Year of Mercy, may we further be a light of Christ in the world, expressing our faith and putting it into action for others.