Gospel – January 16, 2020 – Mark 1:40-45
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
The leper knew the rules. Jesus knew the rules. A leper did not approach anyone without warning he was unclean lest he be relegated to beyond the fringes – separated from everything human.
So, the young man had to measure what he was about to do. But he had absolute trust that Jesus could cure him – if Jesus chose. There is the holy tension – will he or won’t he?
Jesus on the other hand – once the leper approaches him – has to decide how, not if. He was going to heal him – he’s Jesus. But how to make it not a spectacle – a circus once he does. There is the holy tension – how do I heal you?
Jesus decides to heal him but tells him to say nothing.
I’m sure the young man was ready to promise anything. But he has just been resurrected- brought back from living death. Can he remain silent? Here is a holy tension. Remain what you were or become a disciple and spread the news?
The young man chose the better part but Jesus was relegated to areas away from cities and towns where more might have heard him preach. Many came but mainly they were the sick and lame and care givers.
They were more about the miracle – not the message.
Jesus was going to heal but he wanted to bring God’s word to the people.
That is a holy tension.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…