As flu bugs go, my bout this past week was decidedly on the mild side.
Laid low for a couple of days…but feeling well enough to resume normal activities by the weekend.
Of course, if you mention to others that you’ve been sick recently, there’s an almost universal reaction: Friends, family members…they tend to take an immediate step back. A sensible move: No one really wants to catch what’s going around. (I even encountered this phenomenon at the prison yesterday – inmates backing away from me in order to ward off whatever demons or disease remnants I might still be packing.)
All of which makes me appreciate a bit more deeply the Jesus we encounter in Sunday’s gospel.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The Master demonstrates a tenderness that is totally out of keeping with the norms in his community. He welcomes this sick man, listens to him, cures him.
I notice, too, that I have an extra measure of empathy for the man who’s touched by Jesus’ power in this gospel story: When we realize that we are healed, it’s good news. The very best news. So it’s kinda hard to keep it in!
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.