“Unclean, unclean!” That’s what you shout! But shield your upper lip at the same time! Wear your clothing torn and your hair dishevelled. Live apart, outside the camp. Facemask. Keep 2 metres apart from another person. Self-isolate. Life temporarily on hold or a new existence of life on your own, outside and away from your community. Vaccine or no vaccine? Light at the end of the tunnel or no light? Leprosy or Covid-19?
Maybe we can relate like never before to the man with Leprosy in today’s gospel. Maybe we have a better, deeper, greater appreciation and understanding of what it must have felt like to have leprosy over 2,000 years ago and what that meant for your life, your future.
When we come out of this Pandemic, do you think we’ll need a similar healing? Will we be asking Jesus to cure us?
When a person was cured of leprosy, there were more guidelines on how they could return to living with the community again. How do you think we’ll begin working, socialising and living together again?
Healing takes many forms. There’s the surface physical healing which has to happen and that’s important, but it needs to go deeper, further, both psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. How often have you heard people say that the emotional scars are still there and deeper, even though all the physical symptoms of their illness have been cured.
Jesus immediate response to the man with leprosy is important here: “Of course, I want to!” Jesus always wants to heal us, cure us and save us. But are we prepared to go to him and ask him for that healing?
How different will we be after this experience? How changed will we be? Lent is the perfect time to turn to Jesus to answer these questions.