6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

February 14, 2021 

Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46 

Mark 1:40-45 

During this time of the pandemic, in celebrating the Sacrament of Anointing,  the masked priest does not touch the person he is anointing. The laying of hands is  done “at a distance” and the anointing is done with a cotton swab. The sense of  touch is lost but the sacrament is still efficacious, the Lord’s healing is still  celebrated. 

We see here in this reading from Leviticus a fear of those infected with  sickness of the skin. “Leprosy” covered a wide variety of skin diseases that were  considered contagious. It was often concluded that a sickness was the result of  personal sin and so the “threat” was removed from society by keeping the person in  isolation. It was a denial of one’s dignity but also a rejection of those excluding  others. This was the situation Jesus lived in.  

Jesus touches the person and heals him. We do not know whether he became  a disciple of Jesus now or possibly later after the paschal mystery is complete. One  thing that is clear in Mark’s gospel is that Jesus is not just about miracles! 

This requirement to go the “priests” who represent the community is  significant. They are welcomed back, hopefully not under suspicion but totally. The  lesson for us is to see ourselves as part of that welcoming community. During this  time, there may be an opportunity for us to welcome back someone whom we may  deem “unclean”. We make mistakes, others make mistakes but the lesson is that  none of us are mistakes!!