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Liturgical day: January 11th (Weekdays of the Christmas season)

Gospel text (Jn 5,12-16): One day in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On seeing him he bowed down to the ground, and said, «Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean». Stretching out his hand, Jesus touched the man and said, «Yes, I want it. Be clean». In an instant the leprosy left him. Then Jesus instructed him, «Tell this to no one. But go and show yourself to the priest. Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that should be a proof to the people». But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and large crowds came to him to listen and be healed of their sickness. As for Jesus, he would often withdraw to solitary places and pray.

«The news about Jesus spread all the more»

Fr. Santi COLLELL i Aguirre
(La Garriga, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, it is our responsibility to make sure that «the news about Jesus» (Lk 5:15) keeps on spreading; mainly among those that do not know Him or who, for one reason or other, have moved away from Him.

However, this will not be possible unless we have not been previously able to identify our own particular “leprosy” and to approach Christ with our sincere belief that only He can deliver us for good from all our selfishness, jealousy, pride and bitterness...

Whether the news about Jesus largely spreads all over depends upon the “particular meetings” we may previously have had with Him. The deeper His Gospel, His love, His capacity to listen, to shelter, to forgive, to accept the other (no matter how different he or she may be) reaches into our hearts, the better we shall be able to spread His name around us.

The leper of the Gospel we read today about in the Eucharist is someone who has made a double exercise of humility. To recognize his own ailments and to accept Jesus as his savior. It is Christ who gives us the opportunity to make a radical and deep change in our life. With His testimony of life and of New Life, Christ proposes to us a totally true and possible alternative against whatever impediment for loving is encrusted in our hearts and lives. The alternative of love, of tenderness, of mercy. Confronted by someone different, (the leper), Jesus does not run away, does not get rid of him, does not suggest that he instead, goes to administrations, official institutions or some “non-governmental organizations”. Christ does accept the encounter and offers the “ailing one” what he needs; i.e. cure and purification.

We must be able to offer all those approaching our lives what we have received from our Lord. But, first, we must have met with Him to renew our engagement to live His Gospel in the small things of our daily lives.