Pastor's reflection for weekend of Feb. 10/11 (Mk. 1:40-45)
Selfie is a word that came into the English language with the advance of technology. A person or persons is able to take a picture of themselves. Along with selfie came selfie sticks.
When we read gospels we often project them on other people, i.e., ‘I hope so and so heard that gospel’ or ‘that gospel really pertains to another!’ But really – when we read and/or hear a gospel it is really a selfie – not so much to view ourselves in the picture but to totally see ourselves exposed by the word of God.
Our gospel this weekend is for us to identify with the leper – to take a selfie with him and see how it applies to our own lives. The leper is like you and me – he desires wholeness, peace, love, forgiveness, hope, healing, to be accepted. Isn’t that what we all desire?
Sometimes we are in a cement block – we are overwhelmed by our own failings and sins. We are the leper who suffers addictions in our lives and have nowhere or no one to turn to. We are the leper who live in a culture where violence is supposed to be what determines who wins and who loses. It is so easy to see this gospel or for that matter any gospel - and apply it to others. But we are that leper in the gospel crying out to God because we know we desire Him, His peace, mercy, healing and forgiveness and love.
“If you wish you can make me clean!’ Jesus must have heard that and thought finally – someone cries out to me for healing rather than trying to do it himself or herself. It is so easy to be mesmerized by our culture that perpetrates violence as the solution or the more you have the happier and better off you will be. In addition a society full of anger prevails over us.
The challenge of the gospel is not just to be present each weekend at mass or to profess our faith but to take a selfie of ourselves and Jesus in the gospel and let it speak to us.
Like the leper – we just need to approach Jesus. Certainly this coming Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, is a good time to start with the season of Lent. I encourage you to get to mass during the week throughout this wonderful season; or perhaps the stations of the cross on Friday evenings or the many other great sources parishes offer for spiritual growth during this time of the year.
In the end, take a selfie with Jesus and with the leper turn to Him and say: ‘If you wish I can be healed!’
Fr. Bob Kraig