SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Healing and Cleansing 

When I read the story of Jesus healing a man with leprosy, I couldn’t help but think back to travelling to Kenya a few years ago, and meeting a man with
leprosy. As you can see from the picture I have included, the disease took its toll on the man, where he lost one foot and the other was badly dam-aged.
However, at the same time, I believe that he was healed and cleansed by his community, much like Jesus healed the man in the reading. I say he was healed because while he did lose his foot because of leprosy, his com-munity was able to save his life by providing medicine and other care at the clinic that was
happening. at the time. I feel he was cleansed because when I spoke to the man, he told me how the community had embraced, and welcomed him, even though some were scared of him because of his disease It’s like the
community lived out the gospel message that Jesus is teaching us to reach out to those living on the margins, even
if we might be scared or unsure of them. After speaking to the man along with some of the people who were with him, they all were amazed at the spiritual, physical, and emotional healing that had taken place in him.
We are called to recognize anyone in need and to bring them into our community, and help them heal and be cleansed.
Sometimes, the challenge is recognizing those in need, and getting past our own fears. I recently watched a movie with my family about Ruby Bridges. She is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960. There is a scene in the movie of a teacher, and she is speaking about how they
shouldn’t bring Ruby into the school, and how we need to keep the black and the white students separated. The next thing this lady does is sit down to have lunch, and then she does the sign of the cross and says grace. The way they filmed it and the way the actress portrayed it, you really do get pretty upset watching it. Sometimes it seems we don’t recognize how to be Christ to others, and sometimes we don’t even see that someone is in need. The lady in the movie couldn’t get past all her preconceived ideas and was affected by her culture, all of which made her blind to the needs of this young child and the needs of the African-American people during this difficult time. Jesus calls us to heal the broken hearted in any way that we can, and to constantly pray that we recognize the needs of others, and that there are still groups and individuals out there who desperately want community, and love, and healing. After all, don’t we say Jesus is for everyone? God bless you all, Deacon Danny

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