6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46 II:
40 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."
41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."
42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,
44 and said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
- (v.40) Biblical leprosy, described in Lev 13, covered
a wide range of skin diseases and is not the present-day leprosy. It was the ultimate impurity because it cut the patients from the community and turned the patients into sources of contamination to others. Whenever they go out, they have to make noise so that people can stay away from them.
- (vv.41-42) The Law cannot clean leprosy. It can only protect others by segregating lepers. Jesus, in contrast, was not afraid to touch the leper to heal him.
- (v.44) Only the priest (not doctor!) can certify that
the patient is free of the disease and allow him/her back into the community
after a ritual cleansing process. Jesus was higher than the Law, but He did not contradict the Law. Instead, He ordered the healed man to comply with the law. This point is important here because for the next three Sundays we will hear legal scholars accuse Jesus for violating the Law in five different ways.
- (v.45) Jesus was “out in the country,” much like the
quiet place where he went to pray. This time, he drew people there, too.
One Main Point
Jesus heals me and restores me to the community.
- How does my sin, my uncleanness, cut me off from the human community?
- How does Jesus restore sinners like me to the community? How do I experience the joy of rejoining the community?
- Do I follow Jesus to His quiet place of prayer? What
do I experience there?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community