CATHOLIC HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B (2)







CATHOLIC HOMILY FOR THE 6TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B

THEME: NO TRAGEDY IS GREATER THAN JESUS IF….

BY: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara

 

HOMILY: (LV. 13:1-2,44-46;1COR.10:31-11:1; MK1:40-45)

Last Sunday we talked about the fact that God does not abandon his own. Today again we dwell on that fact of God’s compassionate heart which led to his rescue of humanity. Of course, that is the central theme of the dramatic gospel of Mark directed to the Romans, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah who in his compassion came to redeem the human race. However, from another perspective or if you like from the other side of the coin as Newton says action and reaction are equal but opposite. Hence, the reciprocal action of man towards God’s redeeming action that connects one to God’s healing.

The first reading this Sunday, from the Book of Leviticus, spelled out the prescriptions on how to deal with lepers. It is a dreaded disease, which, at the time of Jesus had no known cure. The leper was the most miserable outcast in Jewish society. He had to live away from the community. He had to wear a bell and cry out, “Unclean, unclean!” Worse still, he was also cut off from the worshipping community. Anyone who touched him would also be unclean. Thus, still alive, he was practically considered dead.

In the Scriptures, leprosy becomes a symbol of sin. We can even speak of the “leprosy of sin.” We can understand this also because sin is seen, but why people sin is not so clear. There is something broken in our human nature and, as Saint Paul says, we sin even when we try not to sin. (Rom. 7:15)

Like leprosy, sin defiles and deforms our soul, and it separates us from God and from others. And basically, sin is rooted in selfishness. Selfishness is crossing our arms, unmindful of the needs of others, unwilling to stretch our hands – indeed, the cause of too much misery and pain in the world. Christ shows us today that sickness is just the result of the frailty and limitations of the human body. And in fact, in Jesus, God has always shown genuine compassion for the sick and afflicted.

Jesus touched the leper to impart healing in a personal way. God deals with each of us on a person-to-person basis. There is nothing impersonal with God. That is why Jesus taught us to call God “Abba”, Father. By touching the leper, Jesus risked being contaminated, “to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: “He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Mt. 8:17). Jesus did this because, behind the horrible disfigurement of leprosy, he saw the priceless value of every human person.

We may not be suffering the disease of leprosy but each one of us also carries wounds and scars. We may be suffering the disease of anger, or of bitterness, or of forgiveness. What today’s Gospel assures us of is this: if we can find within ourselves the courage to bring our frailty, our brokenness and our failure to the Lord, He will welcome us with the same compassion, the same understanding, and the same generous love with which He welcomed the leper.

In him, we will meet the God who calls to us and who offers us forgiveness, life and hope. He will help us, and heal us, in the ways that He knows are best for us – and these may be different from the ways we are looking for. But we can be sure that God who, in Jesus, revels Himself as a God of endless compassion and love, will not walk away from us, or leave us to our own devices.

All we have to do is come to Him – with honesty, with humility and with hope – just as the leper did in today’s Gospel. The question for each of us today is: am I ready to do this? Am I ready to go to Jesus?

Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus just now
Just now come to Jesus
Come to Jesus just now

He will save you
He will save you
He will save you just now
Just now He will save you
He will save you just now

Only trust Him
Only trust Him
Only trust Him just now
Just now only trust Him
Only trust Him just now

He will cleanse you
He will cleanse you
He will cleanse you just now
Just now He will cleanse you
He will cleanse you just now

Songwriters: Mahalia Jackson

Happy Sunday!
By Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara

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