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To: Salvation

From: Mark 1:40-45

The Curing of a Leper

[40] And a leper came to Him (Jesus), beseeching Him, and kneeling said to
Him, “If You will, You can make me clean.” [41] Moved with pity, He stretched
out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” [42] And im-
mediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. [43] And He sternly
charged him, and sent him away at once, [44] and said to him, “See that you
say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your
cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” [45] But he went
out and began to talk freely about it, and spread the news, so that Jesus could
no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to
Him from every quarter.


40-44. Leprosy was seen as a punishment from God (cf. Numbers 12:10-15). The
disappearance of the disease was regarded as one of the blessings of the messia-
nic times (Isaiah 35:8; cf. Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22). Because leprosy was conta-
gious, the Law declared that lepers were impure and that they transmitted impuri-
ty to those who touched them and to places they entered. Therefore, they had to
live apart (Numbers 5:2; 12:14ff) and to show that they were lepers by certain ex-
ternal signs. On the rite of purification, see the note on Matthew 8:4.

[The note on Matthew 8:4 states:

4. According to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 14), if a leper is cured of his disease,
e should present himself to a priest, who will register the cure and give him a cer-
tificate which he needs to be reintegrated into the civil and religious life of Israel.
Leviticus also prescribes the purifications and sacrifice he should offer. Jesus’s
instruction to the leper is, then, in keeping with the normal way of fulfilling what
the laws laid down.]

The passage shows us the faithful and confident prayer of a man needing Jesus’s
help and begging Him for it, confident that, if Our Lord wishes, He can free him
from the disease (cf. Matthew 8:2). “This man prostrated himself on the ground,
as a sign of humility and shame, to teach each of us to be ashamed of the stains
of his life. But shame should not prevent us from confessing: the leper showed
his wound and begged for healing. If You will, he says, You can make me clean;
that is, he recognized that the Lord had the power to cure him” (St. Bede, “In
Marci Evangelium Expositio, in loc.”).

On the discretion and prudence Jesus required regarding His person, see the
note on Mark 1:34 and Matthew 9:30.

[The note on Mark 1:34 states:

34. Demons possess a supernatural type of knowledge and therefore they recog-
nize Jesus as the Messiah (Mark 1:24). Through the people they possess they
are able to publish this fact. But Our Lord, using His divine powers, orders them
to be silent. On other occasions He also silences His disciples (Mark 8:30; 9:9),
and He instructs people whom He has cured not to talk about their cure (Mark 1:
4; 5:43; 7:36; 8:26). He may have acted in this way to educate the people away
from a too human and political idea of the Messiah (Matthew 9:30). Therefore,
He first awakens their interest by performing miracles and gradually, through His
preaching, gives them a clearer understanding of the kind of Messiah He is.

Some Fathers of the Church point out that Jesus does not want to accept, in
support of the truth, the testimony of him who is the father of lies.]

[The note on Matthew 9:30 states:

30. Why did our Lord not want them to publicize the miracle? Because His plan
was to gradually manifest Himself as the Messiah, the Son of God. He did not
want to anticipate events which would occur in their own good time; nor did He
want the crowd to start hailing Him as Messiah King, because their notion of
messiah was nationalistic, not a spiritual one. However, the crowd did in fact pro-
claim Him when he worked the miracles of the loaves and the fish (John 6:14-15):
“When the people saw the sign which He had done, they said, ‘This is indeed
the prophet who is to come into the world!’ Perceiving then that they were about
to come and take Him by force to make Him king, Jesus withdrew again to the
hills by Himself.”]

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 01/16/2013 10:27:42 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading Hebrews 3:7-14 ©
The Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways! And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.

Psalm Psalm 94:6-11 ©
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
Come in; let us bow and bend low;
  let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
  the people who belong to his pasture,
  the flock that is led by his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
O that today you would listen to his voice!
  ‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
  as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
  when they tried me, though they saw my work.
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’
For forty years I was wearied of these people
  and I said: “Their hearts are astray,
  these people do not know my ways.”
Then I took an oath in my anger:
  “Never shall they enter my rest.”’
O that today you would listen to his voice! ‘Harden not your hearts.’

Gospel Acclamation Ps118:88
Alleluia, alleluia!
Because of your love give me life,
and I will do your will.
Or cf.Mt4:23
Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom
and cured all kinds of sickness among the people.

Gospel Mark 1:40-45 ©
A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

5 posted on 01/16/2013 10:30:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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