Homily Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B - Sunday, 11 February 2018
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Leviticus 13:1-2. 44-46
Psalm: Ps 31:1-2. 5. 11. “I turn to you, lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:31 - 11:1
Gospel Acclamation: Luke 7:16
Gospel: Mark 1:40-45
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B - Sunday, 11 February 2018 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/6b-ordinary-faith-hope-and-love (EPISODE: 77** )
Here is a pre-Lenten message from Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane:
BEGINNING THE JOURNEY TO LENT: A WORD FROM ARCHBISHOP MARK
FOR THE SUNDAY BEFORE ASH WEDNESDAY
Greetings of peace to you all as we look towards Lent and to Easter that lies beyond.
Last December, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its final report, as you know. Like the Australian Government and many other institutions, the Catholic bishops of Australia and leaders of religious institutes are currently studying the final report and its recommendations.
In the long years since the tragedy of child sexual abuse within the Catholic community became known, the Church has committed to policies, procedures and structures to respond better to survivors of abuse and their families, to establish professional standards for all ministers and Church workers, and to safeguard children and vulnerable people in every way. For the Church, as for other institutions, this has involved gradual learning and development, and so it will continue to be.
Through these years, Australia’s bishops and other Church leaders have often expressed their sorrow and have offered their apology for what has occurred in the past – the harm suffered by victims, the instances of cover-up, the failure to believe survivors’ stories and to respond with compassion and justice, and the distress that many still experience. Our apologies have at times seemed too little – not because they were insincere but because trust has been broken. So we stand firm in our resolve to ensure that the abuse of children never happens again in the Catholic Church and to build new bonds of trust.
With the Royal Commission concluded, our country and our Church enter into a new moment. We are calling upon the Catholic community in Australia to embrace the new moment by beginning this penitential season of Lent with three days of fasting and reparation. Ash Wednesday, the Thursday following and the Friday following. So Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Now, these are spiritual practices which express our desire for God’s reconciling and healing grace. Through fasting, we stand in solidarity with the victims of abuse whose much deeper hunger is for healing and peace in their lives. Through reparation, we make amends for the sin of those in the Church who abused children or failed to listen and act when they should have.
The days of fasting and reparation in sorrow for child sexual abuse and for the healing of victims will be marked by prayer – in our homes and in our Catholic communities. The bishops have produced special resources for these days, and they have been distributed to the parishes for use far and wide; they will also be available on the Archdiocesan website. Please take to heart the importance of these days in preparing the whole Church to respond to the recommendations of the Royal Commission and to make the great journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter. We can’t undo the past. But we can, with God’s help, make the future better.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge
(Archbishop of Brisbane)
The Gospel today is a wonderful example of God's great desire to reach out and touch us…… to include and heal us.
There is sadly much illness and suffering in the world. We pray that those who are sick, will be healed of their illness and brought out of their suffering…..and in every case may the Lord touch their lives with peace, and strength and assure them that God is with them in this difficult journey….
Today’s Gospel makes it really clear that God loves us completely and desires that we be healed, freed from the burden of suffering and reunited with our community……
Jesus is the compassion of God…. And Jesus shows us the endless depths of that compassion and love for us….
God loves us so much that Jesus reaches out and touches us… Because Jesus is God the son, he could simply have said to the leper, 'you are healed' and he would have been…. But the poor man was suffering illness,…. He was isolated from his community….. he was alone…. And Jesus reaches out and touches him to bring him back into the community… and heal his Spirit too……..
According to Jewish law, those who are considered unclean… such as this leper had to stay away…. It must have been torture to not only be sick but to also be a thing of horror and revulsion that everyone keeps away from………… anyone who is touched by someone unclean (according to the Jewish law of Jesus' time) is regarded by the law to also be unclean… even if they don't show the signs of the illness…. They are an outcast from the society for a given time until it is clear that they have not shown any signs of the disease….. Jesus by touching him shows that when there is illness or suffering. God does not just have a deep concern for the people involved but that God is right there in the midst of it…. Touching those hurt… and taking on their pain, their illness their suffering… sharing it and working to heal it…. Jesus is not just in the midst of suffering… jesus is in the people who suffer and in the people who reach out to help…… God's concern, love and involvement is that deep…. That complete….
The Gospel also shows us that Jesus respected the religious law of his time… He respected the Law of Moses….. and did not come to abolish the law of Moses but rather to complete it, to perfect it…… So, when the man is cured… and he is cured instantly, Jesus could have said… you are cured, so go on your way…. But no, he asks the man to fulfil the law about having his illness officially declared cured…….
"All of us pray to be free of illness and free of sin. Just as leprosy was and is contagious, so also sin can be contagious in its own way.
We often forget that sin can be, in some sense, contagious. When we read the newspapers or watch television for a few days, almost always there are articles in the newspapers or presentations on the television that seek to change our minds and our hearts to accept the values of this world – many of which are inconsistent with Christ’s Way. This is how sin and opposing values are spread: engaging with and being open to those beliefs has been compromised by the values of this world. We are not called to withdraw from the world and form a disconnected society, but as always, we are invited to follow the Lord Jesus and to live closely connected to him by His word and his sacraments. The values given to us in the Holy Scriptures keep us on track. Jesus is a healer, one who constantly is bringing good health to others, both physically and spiritually. We are called to pray for the physical health of one another as well as the spiritual health."(quote from Abbot's Homily. Monastery Christ in the Desert).
Jesus is right there in the midst of his people and reaching out and touching those most isolated, most rejects and most in need. He could have healed the leper just by speaking (he did that in the past), but in order to show compassion and love and to re-connect the leper to the community and show the true meaning of God’s law, he reached out and risked being declared unclean in order to save and heal that man. (As I mentioned, Our Lord could theoretically have just waved his hands and cured everyone everywhere in the world, but the healing itself was not merely “of or for itself”... It was out of compassion. It was a moving encounter with God, whose essential nature is loving and compassionate and deeply involved in our lives and who offers us more than healing, but a place in God's family forever. Those he cured would eventually get sick again and eventually all reach the end of their lives... but he was offering them a peace and a membership of God's family that will stay with them in this life and the next, and that needs a life-changing encounter with Christ and his gospel.
Jesus also shows us God’s attitude towards our suffering when Jesus declares “of course I want to heal you!”
God’s compassion and love for others is the key to everything Jesus says and does. Jesus put people first and at the same time put his heavenly Father first, because the love of God, love of neighbour and love and care of oneself are different aspects of the same one teaching.
St Paul in the second reading.. sums up what it’s all about in our ministries and service… “Whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God. ……try to be helpful to everyone at all times, not anxious for my own advantage but for the advantage of everybody else, so that they may be saved.” And that is at the heart of what we do… everything for the honour and glory of God….
Fr Paul W. Kelly
Abbot's Homilies - Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert.. (2009) [online] Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert. Available at: https://christdesert.org/updates/abbots-homilies/
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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
(Sunday, 11 February 2018)
(EPISODE: 77** )
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit. Lord, have mercy//You bring pardon and peace to the sinner. Christ, have mercy// You bring light to those in darkness. Lord, have mercy//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.
Sundays Ordinary V
Euch prayer two
Communion side. pwk: LH
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
(**episode numbers have been adjusted due to a new, revised, counting system).
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