Feb. 11, 2024 — Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
LV 13:1-2, 44-46; PS 32:1-2, 5, 11; 1 COR 10:31-11:1; MK 1:40-45
Now in our Gospel, a leper came to Jesus, knelt before Him, and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched this diseased man and healed him. He then encouraged the man to show himself to the priest and offer himself a cleansing, referencing what was commanded in the Law of Moses. By completing these rituals, this man might be reinstituted into the community.
Let us approach this holy season of Lent like the leper. We are filled with sores and wounds — namely, our sins. By our faults, we have distanced ourselves from God and His community. The leper reminds us Who to go to so that we might be healed. Let us approach the Lord this season on our knees asking for forgiveness and healing from our offenses, saying, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” There is no doubt that, if we have a contrite heart, Jesus will stretch out His hand in forgiveness and His mercy will touch our lives.
And like the leper, we too should go forth from being healed with a commitment to cleanse ourselves from the lasting effects of sin. Lent is a time to offer acts of reparation through Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving so that we might be purified in all areas of our life and walk with the Gracious Healer, Who sacrificed His life for our sake. Let us commit to spending extra time with our Lord in prayer — He will purify the heart that has been wounded. Let us fast from something that competes for our attention or holds us back from our relationship with God. As we offer that sacrifice to the Lord, we will be filled with freedom and peace and will be strengthened in the face of temptation. And let us give alms to God in thanksgiving for His gifts that He has poured out on us. It will remind us that everything we have is a gift from God — everything good comes from Him, and we want to share every aspect of our lives with Him.
Let us approach this holy season of Lent as an opportunity to be healed and cleansed. As we prepare for Ash Wednesday this week, reflect on the sores and wounds that we can bring to the Lord during this season. He is ready to stretch out His hand to heal us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And let us consider what we can do to offer acts of reparation so that we might be purified and one day partake in the resurrection of Christ.