The Church prays today,
O God, who teach
us that you abide in hearts that are just and true, grant that we may be so
fashioned by your grace as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.
What other grace do we need but the grace to abide in Christ? The priest’s prayer at Mass in the anamnesis tells us and God that He lives hearts that are just and true.
The Gospel today relates something that calls to mind the work of Saint Damian of Molokai and Blessed soon-to-be-saint Marianne Cope who worked with and evangelized lepers in Hawaii. Their love was extroverted. No doubt the Lord’s touch and the saints’ humanity was likely the first substantial, real contact these “outcasts” experienced. The Lord’s touch of the leper is as the Prayer over the Offering prays, it “cleanses and renews” for the sake of our salvation. So much for us, too. May the Lord touch our uncleanness and sinfulness so that we may be close to Him.
What other than love and compassion did the Lord have for the marginalized? The medical leper and the spiritual leper always have on their lips Psalm 32: “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”