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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday, 1st week in the Ordinary time Download This Homily

JANUARY 17, 2019

Thursday, 1st week in the Ordinary time

 

Hebrews 3:7-14 ;

 Psalm 95:6-11;

Gospel MK 1:40-45


A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, 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. Then 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.

 

Compassion

 

The Gospels give a vivid picture of many healings that Jesus performed during his ministry and one of them, Jesus curing a leper (MK 1: 40-45), is the passage for our reflection today. The healing by Jesus is an authentic expression of his empathy and compassion for others. It is also a concrete expression of his mission of empowering people because lepers were looked down with contempt by the society and leprosy was considered as a curse by God. The self image of a leper is abysmally law. Jesus by curing a person of leprosy boosted his self image and in a way empowered him.


Inspired and motivated by the example of Jesus many men and women have dedicated their lives for the healing of lepers. Fr. Damian is a shining example of courage and compassion of Jesus. He sacrificed his life for giving life to the lepers. Even today many disciples of Jesus, especially women religious, are engaged in the service of the so called social outcastes. In our times leprosy is on the verge of eradication, but HIV/AIDS has taken the place of leprosy. Let us be proud of those women and men who have opted to serve and empower the social outcastes.


While reflecting over the Gospel passage I realize that empathy and compassion is the foundation of any service to the needy. Empathy or compassion is nothing but understanding what someone else is feeling because one has experienced it himself/herself or can put oneself in other’s shoes. This feeling gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. I also feel that compassion has one more dimension. The absence of empathy and compassion is one of the crucial reasons for the increasing crimes, especially crimes against women in our country. There was unprecedented public fury over the savage gang rape of a 23 year old girl in a moving bus in Delhi on 16th December 2012. Thousands of youth, both men and women, marched to Rashtrapathi Bhavan, Delhi on 22nd and 23rd December in order to express their anger and protest. They demanded stringent laws, even capital punishment, to prevent a heinous crime like rape.


I do share the views of the millions of our countrymen, the need to put in place most stringent laws and implementing them strictly to prevent a crime like rape. But that is not enough. The virtue of empathy/ compassion, which is at the core of all religions, is to be inculcated in every human person. If crimes against women are increasing in the society, I feel that it is also a failure of religions and religious leaders. Let us focus more on the practice of values and virtues than on the rituals, mechanical prayers and poojas. 


Rev. Fr. Jacob Peenickaparambil CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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