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6th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2024

We read in St Mark’s Gospel: “people from all around would come to him.” I will say that this sentence made a big impression on me just today. I ask myself, who were these people and why were they coming over to Jesus? Because they believed that He could help them, could understand them, could answer the deepest desires of their hearts!                           The leper in today’s Gospel made some important gestures:

  • came to Jesus.
  • pleaded on his knees.
  • and asked Him wholeheartedly: “If you want to., you can cure me”.

But Jesus also made very important gestures towards this sick man:

  • Felt sorry for him.
  • stretched out his hand.
  • touched him.
  • – spoke to him: “Be cured!”

The effect of these gestures and words was miraculous: the sick man became well again and glorified God!

The times we live in are strange. Today, finding one who has died of cold is no longer news.   The news today is perhaps some scandal. A scandal – -that is news! Today, a reminder that many children have nothing to eat is no news at all! And this is a serious matter. We cannot be quiet! Are we impressed by the news that the world’s eighty richest people have wealth greater than the three and a half billion people on our earth? Does it not appal us? Doesn’t it frighten us, don’t we ask ourselves any questions?                                                     Pope Francis says that we Christians must not be stiff-necked, those well-bred Christians who talk about theological matters while calmly sipping tea. We should become bold Christians and seek out those who are the very body of Christ, who are the body of Christ!    When I confessed, says pope Francis, I put the following questions to the penitent:           “Please tell me, do you give alms? Yes, Father! That’s good. And then I posed a second question: ‘And when you give alms, do you look into the eyes of the one to whom you give alms? “And when you give alms, do you touch with your hand the one to whom you give alms or toss a coin?”.

This is a problem: the body of Christ, to touch the body of Christ, to take on this pain because of the poor! For us Christians, poverty is not a sociological, philosophical, or cultural category. For us, this is a theological category!   Because the Son of God, God became man, humbled himself, became poor to walk with us on  the road.                                               When I leave this church, this Mass after listening to God’s Word, will I become a different person? Will I be sensitive to the cries of my brothers and sisters? Will I hear their cries and cries for help?   It is important to look at my nearest and dearest because it may be that this cry of the poor is under my roof, it is close to    me!                                                        May the Lord Jesus sensitise our hearts so that they are not made of stone, but sensitive and beautiful, full of life!