Daily Reflection for Thursday, January 13 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time | USCCB
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 4:1-11
Responsorial: Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25
Gospel: Mark 1:40-45
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” Mark 1:4
Like so many others, I continue to have many struggles with pandemic-infused life. I’ll share one that came to mind as I read the Gospel for today. I work in a hospital system where suffering and vulnerability are frequently on display. In non-pandemic times, these observations can easily be made. Yet, in current times, the suffering and distress--both as a direct result of Covid-19 disease as well as from the hospital policies that result from it--are oppressive and overwhelming. This suffering comes in the various patient, family and hospital-staff flavors and it takes daily effort to combat my erosive creep of resentment (at choices people make, at the evolution of the political overlay to everything pandemic related, at state and city and hospital policy approaches.) I won’t pretend to suggest I always succeed.
I’ve never seen an actual case of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) but have little problem imagining how ostracized lepers must have felt in Jewish society’s clean versus unclean prioritization. I also have little problem considering the scene with the leper’s hunger for healing and Jesus’s physical touch, His acceptance, and His promise of restoration, validation, and inclusion. The leper seeks to be made whole and faithfully acknowledges Jesus’s ability to accomplish this. If you wish, you can make me clean. Mark 1:40
It is not a stretch to suggest my own resentment is a form of spiritual leprosy. This idea of spiritual leprosy may manifest in various forms for each of us but when we seek to be made whole, He alone cleanses us from the leprosy of our sin.
Whether in body or in spirit, in relationship or in temptation--in what ways do you seek to be made whole?