Mk 1:40-45 The Leper and A Catholic Hater

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it.  Be made clean.”

This morning I spoke to our Church’s Youth Minister, Paul. He told me a story that happened to him a few days ago.

A while back I downloaded an app called “Quiz Up.”  It’s a game you can play on your smartphone.  One of the topics includes “The Bible.”  The app is pretty neat because it allows you to compete against people from all over the world.  I selected it and began competing against someone called “Catholic Hater.”  We played a few games and I won every single one of them.  Finally, in the middle of our third game, Catholic Hater quit.  “Hey, did you quit because I was Catholic?” I asked.  The person wrote back and said, “I thoroughly hate Catholics.” 

Well, after a lot of cussing and downright nastiness (all on Catholic Hater’s part), I wrote “I’m praying for you.”  Some time later, the person changed their troll name to “Catholic disliker.”

Mission accomplished?  Maybe. 

Paul is a great Youth Minister.  He knows his stuff; but most importantly, he knows how to live this stuff. 

If you wish.  That’s the key!  “If you wish,” you can make a huge difference in someone’s life. 

Today’s Gospel passage retells the story of a man suffering from leprosy.  In my estimation, he had every right to be downright nasty and upset at God; but he wasn’t.  Surprisingly, he fell to the ground, knelt down and begged the Lord to have mercy on him.  The Lord did: Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “Be made clean”.

Mission accomplished?  Maybe. 

G.K. Chesterton once wrote:  “To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means to pardon that which is unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.  It is either this or there no virtue at all.”

This must have been “the creed” of every single missionary sent to mission territory. 

The Internet is a great place to evangelize, but it takes great faith the size of a mustard seed; hope that never gives up; and tremendous love that endures forever.  Now this may sound impossible, and indeed it is.  That’s the reason why we must continue to pray.  

“Without me, you can do nothing”  (Jn 15:5). (0)

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Fr. Alfonse (1002 Posts)

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