Christ: Uniter, Healer and Restorer
6th Sunday Ordinary Time – Year B
In the Book of Leviticus, God commanded that those who were infected with leprosy be cast out of society. This disease was so terrible and there was no cure for it, so the only way to prevent its transmission was to separate the infected from the healthy—the “unclean” from the “clean.” Those who were outcasts lived as such: completely separated from society. They experienced deep loneliness and alienation. Adding to this, lepers were thought to suffer with disease because they had committed a moral evil; they had sinned. With the onset of Coronavirus, we have found ourselves in the same situation, only this time, everyone—the healthy and unhealthy alike—have been alienated from society and each other.
God never intended individuals to be alienated from each other. On the contrary—God Himself is a Communion of Persons, Who share in each other’s joy and goodness. We were created for communion with God and others, and we are happiest when we live in communion. God affirms this truth in the Gospel through Jesus who had compassion on the leper and, in healing him, restored the leper to the social and religious-moral order, making him able to participate in society and the Church once again. What this reveals to us is that Jesus, in His Love and Mercy, is the One who has the power to bring about complete spiritual, physical, and social restoration. In the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, Jesus heals with His mercy and brings us back into and unites us with the fold of His Church. Through Christ’s mercy, each person belongs regardless of whether or not he or she is physically infected with some disease.
Christ Himself, through charity and love, overcomes all moral and physical limitations. During this difficult time, it is important to remember that Christ is bigger and more powerful than the Coronavirus that aims to separate and alienate us. Christ is greater than any physical threat of infection or even death. And as Catholics, we live with Jesus Christ as the center, focus, and aim of our lives. As Catholics, we believe in the resurrection of the dead. As Catholics, we have no need to fear what might come as long as we live in a state of grace and follow God’s Commandments because we know that this life will end one day, but that eternal life awaits us: “For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven” (2Cor 5:1). So, like Jesus Christ, let us be bold in our charity toward God and others. And when we have failed to do so, let us turn with hope and gratitude to the Sacrament of Reconciliation—the sacrament of healing—so that we might be spiritually restored to ourselves, to God, and to each other.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time: Lectionary 77
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