Sunday Gospel reflection: Let Christ’s mercy give you joy

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Christ cleansing a leper by Jean-Marie Melchior Doze, 1864. Photo: Public Domain.

In the Gospel reading today, a leper begs Jesus to heal him. Jesus reaches out and touches this man, even though leprosy is contagious and lepers were considered unclean and treated as social outcasts. Instantly the man is healed from his illness.

Imagine what it must have been like for this man with leprosy to experience Jesus’ response to his pleading. Rather than being sick, untouchable, and considered unclean, he was healed and made acceptable. Jesus’ actions would even allow this man to return to his community.

The former leper was no doubt filled with such excitement and joy that it must have been nearly impossible for him to keep quiet about such good news. It is no wonder that he disobeyed Jesus’ warning to say nothing to anyone. Instead, the man went out and proclaimed the miracle freely, further spreading the word about Jesus.

In spite of his disobedience to Jesus, this man still offers us inspiration. As we experience Christ’s mercy and healing love in our lives, we too can let ourselves be moved with excitement and spread the word about Jesus Christ. As we give thanks in the Eucharist today, let us, like the healed leper, allow similar joy and gratitude to rise up in us so that we cannot help but share the Good News with others.

— Beth McIsaac Bruce


Leviticus 13:1–2, 44–46

Psalm: 32:1–2, 5, 11

1 Corinthians 10:31—11:1

Mark 1:40–45

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