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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

11 February 2012

Reflecting on Mark 1: 40-45

The leper, kneeling before Jesus, wonders if he wants to heal him.  If you wish, you can make me clean, he says.  But maybe you don’t wish it.  Maybe you’re a God with wonderful healing powers to relieve us of our suffering, our blindness, our lameness, our demon possession, but maybe you just don’t want to.  So you have to be coaxed and flattered and manipulated by those of us who are sick.

I admit I’ve approached God similarly.  Now listen, God, this is a little child we’re talking about here.  She’s suffering. You love little children, remember? You have the power to heal her.  If you want to you can heal her, God.  I know you can do it.  Let my words convince you to be merciful.

We think we have to sweet-talk God into being compassionate because, in spite of our prayers, our coaxing, our crying out to God, eventually we and the ones we love still die. God, if you want to you can save us from death! And if death comes anyway we conclude that God just doesn’t want to.

But I find great comfort in the translation in the 1966 Jerusalem Bible.  When the leper says to Jesus, if you want to you can make me clean, Jesus says of course I want to!

Of course I want to. That’s all we need to know.  Jesus our Healer wants to heal us.  Why we still suffer and die is a mystery that remains.  But death’s victory is short-lived, for the God who loves us knows where to find us after we have breathed our last.  And oh, what healing will begin then.

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Ordinary Time - Cycle B

2 Comments to “Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B”

  1. What if God doesn’t want to heal us? What if God likes us to suffer? Isn’t there enough suffering to go around? What if a loving God sometimes just wants a break from all our woes? What if we bore God with our petty problems? What if heaven is overflowing already, and there isn’t room for one more?

    Just answer me that!

  2. I disagree with this comment. God doesn’t care about us, because God doesn’t exist. There are too many people anyway, and even if God existed, he wouldn’t have time to care about each individual. It doesn’t make sense that there is anyone watching over this world, except in a sense of entertainment, because we are intent on destroying ourselves along with our enemies.

    Get over the idea that there is “someone” waiting in the wings to “save” you. Save yourself.

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