The Trouble with Disobedience

Mark 1: 40-45
1 Sm 4: 1-11/ Ps 44: 10-11. 14-15. 24-25

He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to Him.
(Mark 1:45)

We are in our disobedience
Stained by the leprosy of sin;
But thank God in our penitence,
Touched by God’s Word, we are made clean.

A man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged Him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to Him from everywhere. (Mark 1: 40-45)

Reflection

How ironic that by restoring the once leprose man back to his community, our Lord found Himself instead unable to mix freely in any town or village, and had become the “outsider” that the former leprose man was. This was because the healed man did not obey the instructions of Jesus, telling everyone he met about his miraculous healing. Now everyone wanted to see who this ‘wonder worker’ was. It was akin to having stirred up a hornet’s nest.

Disobedience has always gotten man into trouble ever since God created him. If only Adam and Eve had not disobeyed the simple rules laid down by their Maker, life for all of mankind would still be a paradise on earth. And yet God did not allow the leprosy of sin to bring mankind to perdition. To bring man back to a clean slate, God would end up thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem, ostracized and tortured in a way worse than any leper.

Sin is disobedience. Each time we sin, we drive Jesus “out of our camp”, but we are the ones feeling like a leper. It is only when we realize our inability to cleanse ourselves of the filth of sin do we go to Jesus (through His minister), and beg Him saying, “If You are willing, Lord, You can make me clean.” His healing touch in the Eucharist cleanses us once again in our repentance.

I was once a leper, Lord, in my sinfulness; but You touched me with your Word, and You made me clean. Never let me disobey Your statutes and decrees again. Amen.

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