Leprosy and Selfishness
In our first reading and gospel today we hear stories of the disease of leprosy. This skin disease was very contagious and as our first reading states those affected were sent to live apart from the main community. They were required to shout out “unclean” as they approached others, so that contact could be avoided. In the gospel we hear of a leper (one afflicted with the disease of leprosy) who approached Jesus, knelt before him and begged: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus responds saying, “I do will it, be made clean.”
A “disease” affecting our current society is that of selfishness. As most sin is a turning inward rather than outward, Catholics use the Corporal Works of Mercy as a tangible tool to assist in battling one’s own self-centeredness. During the upcoming weeks of Lent we will focus on these works of mercy in our attempts to “turn from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.”
The Corporal Works of Mercy are: 1) Feed the hungry; 2) Give drink to the thirsty; 3) Clothe the naked; 4) Visit the imprisoned; 5) Visit the sick; 6) Shelter the homeless; and 7) Bury the dead. Each week Seminarian Intern Michael DiPietro will record a short video for your reflection. We will send out on various communication platforms ways to engage in that week’s Corporal Work of Mercy. Our hope is that these easy and concrete steps will assist you and your family on the Lenten journey.
As Jesus reminds us in the Gospel today, he wills is that we be made clean. May the Lenten days ahead help us clean up our own lives and in so doing, make a positive impact in our society. Blessings.