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"If you choose... You can heal me"

     Every where we look in our world there are outcasts.  Whether it be in politics, society or work, outcasts- those separated from the rest- are everywhere, and it's not a good thing. Being in a high school, it is easy to identify the outcasts ( like in all highschools). The ones that are lonely, walking the halls by themselves. eating lunch alone, and those who can be visibly seen separated from the group.  Walking in any city, one could see homeless on the streets, asking for money, or sleeping in the most uncomfortable of places. These, obviously are the current day outcasts. 

     In the time period of Jesus, their was just as many outcasts. The tax collectors,Lepers, those born blind, the poor, women, thieves, and the list goes on.  In todays Gospel, Jesus heals one of those outcasts, a leper. In the first chapter  of Mark, we have very little teachings from Jesus. Rather, we are given the accounts of his miracles and how he helped others out. So to begin his Gospel, Mark establishes Jesus identity, as one of power, compassion, and encounter. 

     " ' If you choose, you can make me clean'  'I do choose. be made clean' "  After making the effort to come to Jesus, the man with leprosy gave Jesus a choice; heal me if you want. Moved with pity Jesus decides to heal the man. Jesus didn't have to- it was his choice and he wanted to. Through this action, Jesus is establishing a role that he would want is all to have. 

     Todays reading as less to do about the actual healing as it does helping others. Our call as Catholics is to be like Jesus in this scenario. No, not going around healing lepers, but rather something more possible; including ourselves with the outcasts. In Mark 2:17 Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.I have not come to call the righteous, but [the] outcasts. 

    We are challenged to make friends with the person sitting alone at lunch, to help the hungry, to give people a drink, to clothe the naked and to visit those imprisoned. We cannot forget about the outcasts. Jesus touched the untouchable, and so subtracts himself from society. But it is the challenge to stretch out our hands in support.  Jesus answered the call of the outcast ," If you choose you can make me clean." The modern day outcasts are still calling, " If you choose you can help me" It is up to us to choose to help other. 

Jesus did. 

Will you? 


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