GOSPEL READING / MARK 1:40-45
Jesus’ encounter with the leper in Sunday’s Gospel announces a completely new understanding as part of the establishment of God’s Kingdom (cf. Mark 1:14). Until then if a leper dare approach a healthy person the leper was to be stoned. Not only does Jesus permit the leper to approach but, then, Jesus stretches out his hand and touches sick person. Indeed, in the new era God’s saving will and power is extended to everyone and done so in an immensely personal way. In a display of absolute and ultimate love, Jesus takes upon Himself the disease of humanity – our sins.