Gospel Reflection Feb 11 – Deacon Stephen Petrill

Sunday, February 11

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 1: 40-45


A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,

“If you wish, you can make me clean.”

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,

touched him, and said to him,

“I do will it. Be made clean.”

The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.

Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.

He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,

but go, show yourself to the priest

and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;

that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.

He spread the report abroad

so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.

He remained outside in deserted places,

and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Gospel Reflection:

In this weekend’s Gospel, we witness a powerful encounter between Jesus and a man with leprosy. This passage highlights the compassion and authority of Jesus as he responds to the man’s plea for healing. Despite the social stigma surrounding leprosy and the cultural norms of the time, Jesus does not hesitate to reach out and touch the man, demonstrating his willingness to engage with those who are marginalized and outcast. This act of physical touch not only signifies Jesus’ empathy but also underscores his divine power to heal.

Jesus then instructs the man to keep his healing private and to present himself to the priest as a testimony to the miracle. In this way, the man not only receives physical healing but also experiences restoration to the community and religious life from which he was previously excluded. In this way, Jesus not only addresses the man’s physical ailment but also offers him a path to spiritual wholeness and societal reintegration.

This encounter challenges us to reflect on our own attitudes toward those who are marginalized in our society. How can we better stretch out our hands to those who experience physical, mental, intellectual challenges; addiction and all other sources of ostracization? How can we help bring true healing and break down the physical, social, and cultural barriers that keep our brothers and sisters on the outside? Turning to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we build up our communities so that the marginalized are not only served, but also given the opportunity to fully express their God-given gifts as valued friends.

Deacon Stephen Petrill