Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018
“Moved with pity” may not be the best translation. Most Greek manuscripts use a Greek word meaning: “filled with pity or compassion.” But other texts use a Greek word meaning: “angry.” When the leper comes to Jesus, kneels down, and begs him: “If you wish, you can make me clean,” Jesus is angry not at the leper but against the evil forces that have made this man a victim. We know this anger when a serious illness afflicts someone we love. There is not only the emotion of compassion inside us but also anger: “Why God does this have to be?”
With both empathy and anger Jesus wills to touch the man! Risking making himself unclean Jesus touches the leper. Can we imagine the feeling of the leper who has been isolated from his family and community to be touched by Jesus? Although Jesus commands him to keep it quiet, the leper, now made clean, tells everyone. We understand why the man cannot hold it in and must share the good news.
Today we are welcoming a man into the faith. Bob has come to experience the presence of Jesus in his life and within his family. Bob has already been baptized in the Methodist Church and now he will profess his Catholic faith and will receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. As St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, Bob is called to do everything for the Glory of God and to imitate Christ. He sets a beautiful example for us.