Friday, February 13, 2015

Restoring Beauty

Dear Parishioners,

Cosmetics is an enormous industry all around the world, but especially in the United States. Advertisements for numerous kinds of skin care products flood the media. Everyone wants to look good so much so that people are horrified to see an unsightly blemish on their skin. In our Lord’s time, not only were skin diseases repulsive, they were highly contagious and all were lumped into the category—leprosy. Therefore, there were strict rules to prevent anyone with a skin disease from any contact with other people. We hear about them in today’s first reading where the leper lived as an outcast from the community.

In today’s gospel, Jesus does several amazing things (Mark 1:40-45). He allows the leper to come close, heals him by touching him, and goes to the priest who must declare him cleansed. Nobody would ever touch a leper, but Jesus did. Nobody would ever allow a leper to come near, but Jesus did.

Leprosy was a symbol of sin which cuts the sinner off from the community. When Jesus touched the leper, it was a sign of his loving, healing kindness. While sin makes us ugly in the light of God, Jesus wants to restore our beauty by touching us through his infinite mercy. As the old hymn says, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

- Father Carl

“Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided
by this principle. There is a similar saying in Rome expressed
as, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness ” (#1 of 10)