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Sixth Sunday - Year B

Sunday, 11 February, 2018
Mark 1:40-45

The Word of God this Sunday, the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, sheds some light upon the harsh ritual practices of the Old Testament to reveal their inner, spiritual meaning.

In the first reading from the book of Leviticus we hear of the ritual isolation of unfortunate lepers from the community.  These practices of course are cruel to modern and Christian hearts and minds.  In practice they were probably just a primitive attempt to protect the community from the spread of infection. 

In the Gospel of Mark today we see Jesus having compassion on such a leper who has been cast out from the community, by healing him and restoring him to his people.  A prayerful meditation on this Gospel reveals the truth that the worst disease and disfigurement of all is serious sin. 

Serious sin cuts us off from community, and from communion with God.  It defaces us so much that we barely even recognise ourselves.

Jesus is the only power available to us to bring healing into that situation, to restore us to holy community with God and with others, and to restore our beauty. 

For such compassionate healing power we should live our lives, according to Saint Paul in today’s second reading, in constant thankfulness to God and glorifying him in everything we do.

- Fr Conor Cunningham PP
Lisdoonvarna, Kilshanny and Doolin