Memory of Jesus crucified

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 8,1-4

After he had come down from the mountain large crowds followed him. Suddenly a man with a virulent skin-disease came up and bowed low in front of him, saying, 'Lord, if you are willing, you can cleanse me.' Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.' And his skin-disease was cleansed at once. Then Jesus said to him, 'Mind you tell no one, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence to them.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just finished giving the Sermon on the Mount in front of a great crowd. It was a long speech, and he began it by overturning rules and habits. He called the poor blessed, along with the afflicted, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for justice. Now he is coming down from the mountain, just as Moses came down from the mountain, and he continues to look at the crowd with emotion and kindness as they gather around him looking for a leader, a shepherd. And at that moment a leper comes towards Jesus and kneels before him. It is an unexpected encounter, of the kind that often bother us because they upset our habits and plans and often upset those who are around us. Jesus teaches us to go into the midst of the crowd, letting ourselves be close to all, not looking distrustfully at those who approach us. That leper is the object of scorn and no one had been able (or had wanted) to help him. He finally finds someone who not only does not drive him away but listens to him. Amazed but also trusting, he asks him for healing, "Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean." It is a simple prayer, but full of faith: "if you choose." Jesus, who later will tell the disciples, "Knock, and the door will be opened for you," immediately opens the door of his mercy, stretches out his hand, touches the leper, and heals him. And the leprosy disappears. Jesus is not afraid of stopping in front of that sick man. He takes care of him, touches him, and speaks a kind word to him. That is how he heals him. Jesus shows the disciples how to be close to those who are in need, how to take care of them. This is the meaning of his listening, of his hand that touches, of the words he speaks to him. And he clearly affirms God's will: "I do choose. Be made clean!" This must also be the choice of the disciples and of every Christian community. Jesus teaches us how to welcome at the same time the leper, he also teaches us how to stay in front of him. We should all be like that leper. Let us reach out our hands towards Jesus, and he will heal us.