16th February – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Today’s gospel is Mark 1:40-45.

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

What strikes me most is Jesus’ enthusiasm for helping the man: ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ Jesus is equally enthusiastic for us to approach him with our concerns. Jesus’ approach-ability is wonderfully expressed in one of my favourite pieces of religious art entitled ‘Suffer little children’. Place yourself in the person of the child resting on Jesus’ right knee or the one standing in front of him. Remain there for a few minutes.