February 15, 2015 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the last verse from today’s Gospel from Mark, this simple statement is made: “…people kept coming to him from everywhere.” Of course, Mark is speaking about Jesus, and the Gospel writer is making reference to the desire of people to be healed. Today’s readings deal in large part with leprosy and lepers. There is a deeper meaning, as is often the case, in these references.
Leprosy is not something we know much about because we do not experience the disease the same way people did in Jesus’ time. The latent point of the Gospel is that we are all in need of healing. We are aware that we are sinners, and the Church takes great care to let us know that penance and healing are a part of our faith.
Lent begins this week, and we need to avail ourselves of the opportunity for reconciliation. This is something we should do regularly, but certainly during the holy time preparing for Easter. Confession is a way we can return to God, and it is key that we acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before a priest. Pope Francis has said, “I cannot be baptized multiple times, but I can go to confession, and when I go to confession, I renew that grace of baptism.”