« Jesus continues his ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom, healing all sorts of sicknesses.
« Today Jesus makes clean a leper.
« Paul invites us to imitate him, because he is imitating Christ.
BOOK OF THE LEVITICUS
Ø This third book of the Pentateuch, is called in Hebrew Wayyiqrā’ = “and He called.”
Ø The name Leviticus comes from the Latin translation of the Greek translation of the Bible in times of the Old Testament “Leuitikon.”
Ø The name is well given since it is a book about liturgical laws for the priesthood of the Levites.
Ø Besides these laws there are other laws in regards to the holiness of life, in all its different aspects: physical, psychological and moral.
Ø THE AUTHOR – THE BOOK
o As it is the case for all the books, it is difficult, imposible to know who the author is. The book was being formed over several centuries with the contribution of many hands.
o It belongs to the “priestly” tradition.
o The legislation points out to Moses.
o Although we find in this book some ancient laws, in its present shape the book belongs to the time of the return from the Babylonian exile.
o The book has the following parts:
I THE LAW OF SACRIFICE
II THE PRIESTLY ORDINATIONS
III THE LEGAL PURIFICATIONS
IV THE FEAST OF THE ATTONEMENT
V THE CODE OF SANCTITY.
FIRST READING Lv 13:,1-2; 44-46
Many skin diseases were included under the name of “leprosy.”
Leprosy was an infected skin disease that was permanent, it was not necessarilly the same disease we know now as leprosy.
Other skin diseases were temporary and able to be cured.
The leprosy, or all the infectious skin diseases, when declared so by the priest make the person impure due to his or her sickness, and unable to be among other people.
The consequences derived from leprosy were painful for the person. He or she had to walk with wasted clothes, having a bad look. As they walked from one place to another they had to keep saying “impure” so that nobody would approach them.
Let us think of the suffering not only physical, but especially and more psychological and spiritual. How this sickness could also estrange the person from the relationship with God.
Let us remember that by that time they attributed everything to the will of God. What was good as a reward, and what was bad as a punishment.
In regards to sickness they always thought there was somehow a punishment for the sins. Let us remember the book of Job, which we reflected on last Sunday
In all this legislation we find a combination of hygiene rules and rules which distinguish between sacred and profane.
The leprosy with the lost of parts of the body, made the person not only contagious but also dangerous and unable to worship Yahweh.
GOSPEL – MARK 1:40-45
ü We continue reading from the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark.
ü Mark describes Jesus doing during only one day a tireless apostolic activity
ü Probably not all these works were performed in one day, but Mark puts them together here to make his community understand how Jesus was pressed by the need to proclaim the Kingdom of God.
ü Today a leper approaches Jesus and asks him to be cured.
ü Jesus say a few words and touches him, at once the man is cured from his leprosy.
ü Jesus touches an impure man, and that made him legally impure
ü Jesus does not obey the human laws that do not respect the dignity of the human person.
ü The Father through Jesus continues to touch our wounded, sick and impure human condition and heals us. He says through the words of Jesus “yes I do will, be made clean”
ü Jesus asks the man not to tell anything about the cure, but he must fulfill what the law prescribes.
ü Only doing what the law prescribes he will be able to return to the community.
ü Marks says at the end of this episodo, wich is also the end of the first chapter, that people were coming to him from everywhere.
SECOND READING 1 Cor 10:31-11:1
- Paul speaks to his community about Christian freedom in respect to food.
- Today’s reading follows the teaching about eating meat from animals sacrificed to the idols, either because they are used for meals, or because they are sold in the market.
- The Christian person may eat anything because he or she does not believe in idols, but if this behavior gives offense to others they have to avoid it.
- We should always do what gives glory to God.
- They should seek the good of all, not their own benefit, thus imitating what Paul does to cooperate in the salvation of his brothers and sisters.
FALEY, ROLAND J., T.O.R. “Leviticus” in The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 1988.
FLOR SERRANO, GONZALO. “Salmos” en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento II, Casa de la Biblia, 1997.
The missionary must be always kind and be all to all but without losing his composure and religious circumspection.
Beware that due to his carelessness the veneration and respect ought to be given to the priestly character that he is invested, be lost.
Do not familiarize with anybody but be kind to everybody. During his travels he must speak little and meditate very much. His lodging in the cities be in the hospital.
Do not play jokes to his brothers or companions of travel much less to (strangers).
Do not argue with anybody, (…) but yield to everybody. (María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, The Apostolic Missionary, 2.1-2.5)
During my stay in Viladrau all the sick of the town, as well as those who were brought there from other places, were cured. As word of this spread, in whatever town I went to, people would bring me a large number of sick persons suffering from all kinds of illness. There were so many sick and so many different illnesses, and I was so busy hearing confessions, that I didn't have time for prescribing physical remedies. I told the people, instead, that I would commend them to God, and in the meantime I would make the sign of the Cross over them, saying, "Super aegros manus imponent et bene habebunt. After I did this, they said that they were cured.
(Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 180.)