After COVID, most of us may hear with heightened awareness this Sunday’s Gospel about Jesus healing a leper. The leprosy of our Gospel stories probably was not our Hansen’s disease, which is not very infectious, but more like fungal or parasitic skin infections which spread easily. So the result for victims was mandated social isolation. We know the toll that COVID isolation has inflicted on so many people in the last 11 months. We notice also the fear many of us have felt at being near an infected or potentially infected person. And so we observe with wonder how Jesus first stretches out his hand and touches the leper, and only then says the healing words, “Be made clean.” There is something about touch that is more powerful than mere words to convey, “You are OK with me; you are welcome in my space.” Unfortunately, from the time we are little, groups of which we are part decide that some other people are not welcome in our space, are not OK with us, are untouchable. This is another painful awareness of these past months, the separations between us. Where are we “at” with this? As we prepare to begin Lent this week, who are the lepers in our life?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia