The irresistible leper

If He was capable of healing with a touch, surely He could have performed some other kind of miracle that would have changed everyone’s mind about Mosaic Law, or He could have made the man incapable of spilling the secret, or He could have done a thousand other things to get out of the bind the man made for him when he spilled the beans. The way He chose to do it is impractical and confusing, and it doesn’t make sense to me.

So why did he do what he did?

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.

Image: Detail of Byzantine mosaic (Public Domain)

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4 thoughts on “The irresistible leper”

  1. Been pondering this since I first read it. I love the questions on the mystery of Jesus’ actions.
    It seems that like so many other stories after Jesus’s behaviour during his lifetime that this one is understood best by people who are on the “outside”. I bet Saint Damien of Molokai would understand it right away.
    Those of us who live more conventionally often underestimate the extent to which Jesus was willing to be identified with the dirtiest and most rejected and the most pathetic of the Human family who live “outside the walls. ”
    Lepers had to live apart & isolated from their immediate social group of reference (family, synagogue, neighborhood, village). Sickness brought them the physical suffering but also the knowledge that they would never be surrounded by people who love them ever again.
    I Can Only Imagine the deep depression those condemned to live apart must have felt. We also know from history that in such communities the rule of law is not enforced because none of the usual structures exist and as a result, often moral laxity and general sloppiness of lifestyle follows, as people despair of ever being well again, or of being loved and accepted. (again: see St Damian the Leper)
    Jesus not only heels this man of his disease but also of his despair and his uncle gation to live in a community of strangers. And then Jesus doesn’t just released the man from that but he himself also joins in solidarity with those who continue to suffer (temporarily or permanently).
    Thanks again for another rich post.

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