Option for the poor
Sunday, February 11, 2018 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time First Reading: Lev. 13:1-2, 44-46 Second
Reading: 1 Cor 10:31 – 11:1 Gospel Reading: Mk 1:40-45
A leper came to Jesus and begged him, “If you so will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will be clean.” The leprosy left the man at once and he was made clean. As Jesus sent the man away, he sternly warned him, “Don’t tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest and for the cleansing bring the offering ordered by Moses; in this way you will make your declaration.”
However, as soon as the man went out, he began spreading the news everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter any town. But even though he stayed in the rural areas, people came to him from everywhere.
(Daily Gospel in the
It was considered taboo in Jewish culture to be in the company of people who were considered outcasts. Jesus made daring experimentations that offended this socio-cultural precept. He even dined with them. Dining in Jewish culture was an activity held only with friends, never with enemies. In dining with sinners Jesus appeared to be approving the sinful lifestyle of those public sinners he dined with. Lepers fell into the category of outcasts since leprosy was considered punishment from God for sins committed. Jesus did not only associate with lepers but touched them as he cured them.
In making these daring experimentations Jesus showed predilection for the outcasts. This predilection found full expression when later in his Passion he became like them – disfigured and abandoned. Like lepers he was disfigured by sweat and blood. Like public sinners he was punished with crucifixion – the penalty reserved for worst criminals. The late Pope John Paul II said something to this effect when he referred to Jesus as the image and symbol of lepers while hanging on the cross. He said that the prophet Isaiah had foreseen this when he contemplated the mystery of the Servant of the Lord. Isaiah wrote: “There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, neither the appearance that would attract us to him.” (Is 53:2-4).
Solidarity with the humblest is supposed to be the mark of the Church. PCP II reaffirmed this when it underlined the Church’s preferential option for the poor strongly anchored on Jesus’ preference to leave the ninety-nine to search for the lost sheep.
We are part of this big representation of Christ in this world. Let us help the marginalized even as we ourselves are marginalized.
– (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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