Some Readings

Ahem … some readings are just too wrong. Like this past Sunday’s.

The one who bears the sore of leprosy … shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:44, 46)

My parish’s visiting homilist noted that the trial of illness was compounded with the isolation from the community. That struck me this weekend, both Masses.

Of course, I realize that infectious diseases demand a certain treatment for the safety of the majority. We’re also in these days now. People with the coronavirus are isolated. And more, people potentially vulnerable to infection find themselves alone.

What is missing is the spirit of compassion fortified by the personal companionship. People may well need to live in isolation, temporarily, for their good and the greater good of others. What is wrong, what is a betrayal of the Lord’s spirit, is to simply abandon them.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Some Readings

  1. Liam says:

    The leper had to stay 6 feet away from others in still air, 150 feet away when there was wind; how common would it have been for the air to be still? It was a social death sentence and more, and people covered all manner of sores to avoid this sentence. Anyone who recovered actually didn’t have leprosy; they had another skin ailment. People suffering from leprosy basically lived and died apart. Remember, before the time of the Maccabean martyrs, illness et cet. was closely associated as a form of divine judgment for (generational) sin in Judaism, though certain schools of Jewish thought began to rethink that in light those and other martyrs for The Name, a transition that comes into full flower in the time of Jesus.

    The first reading sets the context for what happens in the Gospel. First, the leper did not maintain his distance, but trusted that Jesus could overcome the requirements. Second, Jesus doesn’t just heal him, he *touches* him. This occurs early in the Gospel of St Mark, as Jesus is manifesting that he’s not just any old new prophet, but someone who immediately summons battle with the forces of illness and demonic power.

    I am mystified how the reading itself is “too wrong”.

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