A Reflection From Fr. Gerry,
Every time I read this Gospel it sends me down memory lane to my time in East Africa. One of my more memorable experiences among many was spending some time with lepers in a leper colony. I usually went there with some nuns who also happened to be nurses at a nearby hospital. They would bring some medication and I would spend my time talking and praying with them. They appreciated our visits very much because we need to remember that leprosy is not only a debilitating disease but what is just as bad is the social stigma that is attached to it. These people were condemned to a life of isolation and the only people they had contact with were other lepers. What I remember very distinctly about our visits were, we would go around and give them hugs and those hugs could last 5 minutes or more and they were nearly just as important as medication because we were giving them the gift of self-acceptance. When I think of leprosy, I cannot help but think of that great priest, Peter Damien who ministered for many years to lepers in the remote island of Molokai and who himself eventually died of that dreadful disease.
We just read about Jesus curing a leper. The phrase that jumps out at me here is, he told them not to tell anyone and this man was not very good at keeping a secret, so he did the opposite and went and told everyone. I suppose that most of us would have done the same. I do think that there is a special teaching moment for all of us here. First, it is important to note that Jesus did not perform miracles as gimmicks to win people over to Christianity, because the fact is that Christianity has no magic tricks to offer a skeptical or unbelieving public and even if it had the memory would be short-lived. Rather, miracles were to strengthen the faith of those who already believed. More than once he told people that it was their faith that saved them and more than once he told them not to tell anyone. Why did he say this? Some would say that he did it to protect his own privacy. That maybe so, but I also believe that he intended it as a ministry for the person who was healed. What this man needed the most now was some quiet time to think, to think about the person who cured him, to think about why he was cured and most importantly how he was going to handle his new lease on life. These questions needed to be answered honestly because a healthy body does not necessarily lead to a meaningful life.
Everyday God touches our lives in different ways just as surely as he touched the leper. The problem with many of us is that we don not allow enough silence to appreciate what we have and then we tend to focus on our problems more than our blessings. I believe that is what Jesus had in mind when he told the man to keep quiet. I will conclude with the words of a great spiritual writer who said, “Only the person who can bear silence can truly near the word of God.
May God go with you.
READINGS FOR FEBRUARY 14, 2021
THE SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME-B
1st Reading—Leviticus 13: 1-2, 44-46—According to the law of Moses, people with leprosy had to live alone, outside the camp. Aaron or another priest declared them unclean as long as they had a disease.
Responsorial Psalm: 32: 1-2, 5, 11—“The Lord hears the cry of the poor, blessed be the Lord.”
2nd Reading—1 Corinthians 10: 31—11:1—Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Do everything for the glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to the Jews or Greeks or the Church of God…Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
Alleluia—“Alleluia! A great prophet has arisen in our midst, God has visited his people. Alleluia!”
Gospel—Mark 1: 40-45—A leper said to Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus touched him: “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him, and he was healed.
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL-B-FEBRUARY 14, 2021
1) Let us pray for the Church:
God, you call us to live for your glory alone.
Strengthen those who minister in your Church.
2) Let us pray for the earth and all its peoples:
May the rulers of this age choose life and not death.
Let the family of nations be reconciled and settle differences with wisdom, and not war.
3) Let us pray for those heavily burdened in wintertime:
God of every time and season, watch over the elderly and those threatened in the cold. Keep travelers safe on our winter roads.
4) Let us pray for the sick:
Cure with your mercy, Healing Savior, our friends and loved ones who cry out to you —
Betty Morici Katy Powers Robert Lee Reagan Bahling
Tom Rogan Pam Allen Brad Mersino Max Justus
Diane Kudza Jackie Nowicki Nick Emery Rachel Tremblay
Michael Zyrek Bob Mizejewski
and all with terminal illnesses.
5) Let us remember the dead:
Risen Lord, fill our loved ones with the joy of everlasting life, especially-
(5:00 Mass) Bob Henley
(8:30 Mass) Earl Muhlek
(10:30 Mass) Jack Zubalik
and all those whose memory we hold dear.
6) Let us pray for our personal needs in silence: (PAUSE)
Bless all married couples Lord. May their love for one another inspire us all.
We pray to the Lord…
ANNOUNCEMENTS – February 14, 2021
- Masses for Ash Wednesday are at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Ashes will be available all day in the church.
- The quilting and craft group will meet next Saturday, February 20th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Solanus Hall.
- We have Little Black Books for Lent available in the gathering area. Six-minute reflections based on the Sunday Gospels of Lent, and the book starts with a reflection beginning this Sunday, February 14th.
- Next week we will take up the collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. This collection supports the church in more than 25 countries still struggling to recover from communist rule. Envelopes are available on the gathering table.
- This Friday we will pray the Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m. Because of Covid19, there will be no soup and salad afterward.