A Message from Fr. Jay
When we started the Ordinary Time of the liturgical year (B) soon after Christmas, these are the themes and reflections presented in a logical sequence.
- 1st Sunday: The feast of Holy Family (We were called to be part of Holy Family for evangelizing the Good News)
- 2nd Sunday: Jesus choosing his Apostles (Beginning/introduction of his team members)
- 3rd Sunday: Proclamation of Gospel (Word of God Sunday) – an important work of evangelization.
- 4th Sunday: Preaching the gospel with authority – a specific method of proclamation.
- 5th Sunday (last week): Healing – another important work of evangelization reflecting mostly on mental and physical healing.
And this week the 6th Sunday, another aspect of healing is reflected. A man with leprosy who experiences terrible social discrimination and stigma is healed by Jesus. I have seen in my life how social discrimination and stigma can harm individuals and families, especially when I was working with Catholic Charities in India among the people living with HIV and AIDS. Social discrimination in its many forms is still a problem in our society. God created humans in His image and likeness and blessed them with His dignity, and no one has the right to take away or remove that dignity.
St. Paul calls us to imitate him who imitates Jesus. St. Paul, when he was Saul, discriminated against all Christians, but, after his encounter with Christ, he sees no difference and no discrimination at all. As He says in the second reading, everyone was God’s children. In the media, we hear/see so much of anti-Semitic discrimination escalating tensions all over the world, and people with different opinions or beliefs are treated as lepers. The tolerance level is decreased or has vanished entirely. We are called to bring healing. Healing is a work of evangelization. Like St. Paul, let us imitate Jesus in our lives.
This week we also start our Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. Once again, we realize that God is calling us to discipline ourselves in our spiritual morality. Please look in the bulletin for further information on several liturgical and sacramental events that might help us to come closer to God.
As we start our 40 days for life on February 14th, let us promote a culture of life and a culture of healing.
Fr. Jay Raju
- Reading 1: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
- Reading 11: I Corinthians 10: 31-11:1
- Gospel: Mark 1:40-45