Leprosy. We’ve all got a bit of it.

It’s difficult for us in our modern world, where fresh water is available with the turn of a faucet and top notch medical care is available to most Americans, to grasp the desperate situation of the leper in this Sunday’s gospel.

His was a two-fold problem. Not only had he contracted a disease that was incurable and ultimately fatal, but the community around him viewed the leper as a moral degenerate. He must have done something very bad to receive such a terrible punishment. The leper truly had no-where to turn.

The meeting he has with Jesus is extraordinary. He approaches Jesus in fear. “If you wish, you can make me clean.” (So shunned were lepers that the poor fellow couldn’t even presume Jesus would want to heal him.) “I do will it. Be made clean.”

What is less apparent is how radical Jesus was in dealing with this sickness. First off, he let the leper approach him (breaking the rules set down by Moses). Secondly, and this must have freaked everybody out, he touched the man! This Jesus fights for the little guy for sure.

So has all that healing stuff stopped now that Jesus is in heaven? That was then and this is now? Jesus isn’t here in the flesh to touch the leper, so can we still call on him? Does he still “wish to make us clean”? Of course he does.

However, the leprosy has changed somewhat over the past 2,000 years. Medical advances (powered by our God given genius and the medicines we’ve found in God’s creation) has truly brought Christ’s healing to millions. But, the leprosy that pills won’t touch is the spiritual sickness that afflicts so many of us today.

What is the modern leprosy? I think it’s seeing ourselves alone in this world with no one to care for but ourselves and a few people we love. It’s a view of life that sees me in a world of limited resources of time and money. It’s a world that has no cause and no purpose other than one I invent for it. God, if he exists, is very far away and let’s everybody work things out for themselves as best they can.

It’s a world that each person invents for themselves, or worse, takes whatever world view is currant in the popular culture. Let’s call it spiritual leprosy.

And this spiritual leprosy has certain symptoms. It comes with all kinds of behaviors that try to deal with the pain of being alone in the universe. Selfishness (for sure), jealousy, greed, bullying, addiction (pick one!).

How does Jesus heal this lonely view of life? Well . . . . that’s the whole story about Christ. “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son . . . not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved (from its leprous condition) through him.” JN. 3:16.

And, here’s where we get back to that little guy in the gospel with the leprosy. You see, he came to Jesus in Faith. “Jesus, you can heal me.”

Suddenly, the worlds view changes. God has come to us and entered into our world to be Emmanuel (“God with us”). Broken are the false visions of life that have us living only for ourselves. Life now is a journey with Christ, listening to him in the scriptures and church, turning to him in a personal relationship of love and trust.

“Oh Jesus, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Mk. 9:24

Fr. Tim

To assist us with planning for the One by One Events, (food, etc.) we ask that you to register in one of the following ways:

Not sure if you can come to all three events at this time– no problem! You can register for one event at a time and come back to register for the other events, or you can register for all events at once.

One By One Logo

ONE by ONE lineup:

Saturday, February 21, 5:15 pm. “Let’s Play”

  • Food and intro’s
  • Trivia Competition (real easy, goofy questions, everybody wins)
  • “You’ve Been Away? Me Too.” Talk — short story of one person’s being away and now returned. “Why I came back and what I found.”
  • Invitation to come back for next event.

Saturday, March 7, 5:15 pm. “Let’s Talk”

  • Food and welcome.
  • “I Need God in My Life. My Catholic Faith Helped Me Find Him” Talk. Witness talk by a parishioner about how they found their place in the Catholic Church.
  • Conversation at tables about peoples’ own stories. (Personal sharing only as people feel comfortable – – – no forced, uncomfortable admissions).
  • Anonymous Question Box. Fr.’s John and Tim will do their best to answer all questions and address burning issues.
  • Invitation to next event.

Saturday, March 21, 6:15 pm. “Let’s Pray”

  • Pot Luck Supper (bring a dish to pass) and welcome.
  • Move to church for an informal conversation and walk through of the Catholic Mass.
  • Brief description of upcoming Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
  • Invitation to join us for Holy Week and Easter Sunday.