Sixth Sunday Ordinary Time 2012 Mass Reflections

Scripture readings along with various reflections for Sunday's Mass  are here  

Below is an extract from a reflection from Fr. John Foley S.J from here.

"Here are a few things to notice about this coming Sunday’s Gospel. A man walks up to Jesus covered with scales and scabs. 

The man is thereby committing a terrible social blunder and he may be breaking the law too. According to the prescriptions found in the First Reading, he should “dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp” as long as the sores are on him. He should ring a bell and cry “Unclean, unclean!” 

In spite of all this, Jesus is not repulsed or shocked. He is “moved with pity.” Just three words, but they tell us so much, as is Mark’s way. 

Then a wonderful statement from the leper. “If you want to, you can make me clean”: a confession of faith in just a few words. How did he know it? His spiritual life had already begun.
Jesus answers, “I do want to.”
Direct, honest, so revealing of God. The whole life of Jesus consists of this desire to help people who are in trouble, even if they have only a small faith by which to receive the cure. 

In an extraordinary move, Jesus stretches out his hand and touches the man. Remember, the ancients thought that this sickness was communicable, and obviously, at the very least, it was disgusting. Yet Jesus touches him with care and says, “Be made clean.” 

Look at it. Our spiritual life consists of being “made clean.” We must let Jesus touch us and touch our souls. Here in the very first chapter of Mark we already see how Jesus began to extend his spiritual mercy toward the leper and toward all of us."

Gospel  Mark 1: 40-45.

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 leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once.

He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,

but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.

He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

World Leprosy Day 2012

 A message from Mumbai India "Smiles" General Director Jaume Sanllorente:

Modern Day Leprosy. Medical details here.

Leprosy is not a particularly easy disease to catch; it is curable.  Those affected should live within mainstream society and no – limbs don’t just fall off. Not even for comic effect. Find out the truth about leprosy by reading the Leprosy Myth Busters page. Leprosy, which is also called Hansen’s Disease, has not been eradicated from the modern world, although it continues to decrease every year. The World Health Organization estimated a total of about 200,000 cases in 2010 – 2011, most of whom live in conditions of poverty. About 12 percent of all new cases are children under the age of 15.

The 59th World Leprosy Day, was observed on Jan. 29, and here, Archbishop Zimowski of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, addressed survivors of the disease and those still suffering from it around the globe. 
Another address here.
Archbishop Zimowski noted the many volunteer organizations that have helped in reducing the number of cases of leprosy, especially the Raoul Follereau Foundation based in Bologna, Italy. 

 LEPRA Health in Action (formerly the British Leprosy Relief Association) is a medical charity that shares the WHO goal of eradicating the disease.

In this video, Chief executive Sarah Nancollas gives a response to the controversial portrayal of leprosy and leprosy- affected people in the trailer for the new Aardman Animations/Sony Entertainment film 'Pirates! Adventures with Scientists' (aka Band of Misfits).

Since this video, Film-maker Aardman has told LEPRA Health in Action they'll now change the offending scene..
After reviewing the statement below from Aardman, LEPRA Health In Action added the following observations:

“Although we are genuinely delighted that Aardman has decided to amend the film, what has impressed our organisation most is the film-makers comments about respect and sensitivity. These words underline the importance of our work in the field and the dignity of those whose lives are affected by leprosy. Aardman has recognised the impact that this scene could have on this basic human right.”
In the statement Aardman said, “After reviewing the matter, we decided to change the scene out of respect and sensitivity for those who suffer from leprosy. The last thing anyone intended was to offend anyone and it is clear to us that the right way to proceed is to honour the efforts made by organizations like LEPRA and the World Health Organization to educate the public about this disease.”

  • Website of  ILEP, The International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations is here.

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