Sunday, February 14, 2021

A Leper

With every fiber of his flesh and blood and divinity Jesus expresses this compassion that God feels for us. Our sufferings, and pains, and the trap of our sinfulness wrench Jesus’ guts, he feels it all in his innards, a “visceral” love. Jesus is moved; he is the mercy of God enfleshed. And this mercy gushes forth from his heart; he can’t hold it back; his mercy expresses itself as he cures “every disease and illness,” including the leper in today’s Gospel

And even now his heart is brimming over with tenderness and compassion, indulgence and mercy for us, because, he sees that we too are “troubled and abandoned.” Jesus sees into our hearts, knows all the stories we are He sees our confusion, pain, and incompleteness, our sinfulness, and his heart goes out to us. His heart is magnetized by our need for him.

The heart of Jesus is always riven by the cry of the poor, and this morning his compassion expresses itself as he cures this leper. Perhaps what Jesus is doing best of all is returning this afflicted and isolated fellow back to ordinariness. Jesus’ healing restores him to family and friends. Blessed ordinariness is after all where he always comes to meet us.

God only wants to be ordinary. It is why Jesus has come, God with us, near us, in us. The ordinary is charged forever with his kind, incessant presence. God longs to be ordinary, not taken for granted, but here, always here with us. Why else would he choose to be a child, why else a carpenter and a wandering teacher? Why else allow himself to be done in by thugs and jealous bureaucrats? Why else choose to be hidden in a morsel of bread on our altar?

Photograph by Brother Brian.