The readings for this Sunday talk about a very lonely people. The Gospel Reading:
Gospel MK 1:40-45
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
From the Desk of: +Archbishop James Salisbury Jr., OSB.,
We have a very special time in our Divine Liturgy when we come together for the sign of peace. In our tradition we embrace each other with the kiss of peace.
I know once I start saying “The Lord be with you, let us offer the sign of peace,” something very special happens. We reach out and really touch each other.
Over the years I have often stated that the only hug some persons get all week is at church on Sunday morning at the sign of peace.
We are in loneliness and need a community around us. I am sure some of you can relate to the following story after living in Metro-Washington, D.C.
Years ago, when speaker of the house Sam Rayburn heard that he had terminal cancer, he shocked everyone when he announced that he was going back to his small town in Bonham, Texas. Everyone said to him: They have got the finest facilities in Washington, D. C., why go back to that little town. Rayburn's words have been quoted so often that some of you have probably heard them. He said: "Because in Bohman, Texas, they know if you’re sick and they care when you die. We need community.
Upon moving back to my home town of Rocky Mount, N.C., I was very moved to see just how much the community really care and support this time of life when most us of my generation are walking in the fall leaves of our lives.
In todays Gospel, think of the Lepers and their loneliness. Everyone needs a communit to love them and recognize them.
I dare first myself and then you to be more about community in our church community and our homes and communities we live in.
In the Master’s Yoke.
+Archbishop James Salisbury Jr., OSB.