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Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections 6 th Sunday in the Ordinary Time B February 15, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing.

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Presentation on theme: "Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections 6 th Sunday in the Ordinary Time B February 15, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sunday Readings Commentary and Reflections 6 th Sunday in the Ordinary Time B February 15, 2015 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM

2 1 st Reading: Lev 13, The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his descendants. 44 If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head. 45 "The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, 'Unclean, unclean!‘ 46 As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp. The focus is on leprosy.

3 Textual Context Structure of the Leviticus by Carmody A Warning against Molech and mediums and wizards (1-6) B Be holy, for I am the Lord (7) C Keep statutes and observe them (8) D Laws (9-21) C’ Keep statutes and observe them (22-25) B’ Be holy, for I the Lord am holy (26) A’ Condemnation of mediums and wizards (27)

4 1 st Reading: Lev 13, Instructions in dealing with a leper 1The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "If someone has on his skin a scab or pustule or blotch which appears to be the sore of leprosy, he shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his descendants. 44 If the man is leprous and unclean, the priest shall declare him unclean by reason of the sore on his head. 45 "The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, 'Unclean, unclean!‘ 46 As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp. Commentary: V.2 talks about skin diseases turning into leprosy and the need to bring the infected person to the priest for examination. The priests acted like sanitary inspectors and were in-charge of admission in the Temple. An unclean person was disqualified from participating in the worship. In v.44 a leper is considered automatically unclean because of the sore that is marked on his head. Vv prescribe how a leper should appear / behave / live: –Keeps clothes torn. –Keeps disheveled hair (unattractive, unkempt) –Upper lip covered –Cries out “unclean” (to warn people of his presence so that they would not get near him/her) –Live alone (forced seclusion, can’t live with loved ones) –Dwells outside the camp (can’t live in the community)

5 Reflections on the first reading It is terrible to be afflicted with leprosy. You are isolated from your family and your community. You are deprived of their love, comfort and support. Aside from the physical deformities, the leper suffers from deprivations and rejections, be they bodily, spiritually, economically, socially, and psychologically. The leper’s suffering is made worse by the rules of religion and society.

6 Resp. Psalm Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11 R. (7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. 1 Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD," and you took away the guilt of my sin. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart.

7 Resp. Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11 R. (7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. 1 Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, those sin is covered. 2 Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, "I confess my faults to the LORD," and you took away the guilt of my sin. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart. Commentary The psalm is classified as thanksgiving hymn. The psalm acknowledges the joy of being forgiven by God. The expression used by the psalmist is “blessed”. vv.1-2 V.5 relates the experience of the psalmist himself. First, –He acknowledged his sin –He did not cover it up –He confessed Then –God took his guilt away In v.11, the psalmist invites people, the just and the upright of heart, to celebrate God’s forgiveness. We know that people are made just and upright because God forgives them.

8 Reflections on the Psalm There is joy in being forgiven. We are forgiven because we acknowledge our faults, sin and guilt. There is no forgiveness if we don’t humbly accept our shortcomings. Only the humble and the forgiven has the capacity to celebrate and rejoice in the forgiving God.

9 2 nd Reading: 1 Cor 10,31—11,1 31 Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32 Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved. 11,1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. The focus is being charitable.

10 2 nd Reading: 1 Cor 10,31—11,1 31 Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32 Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved. 11,1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Commentary In v. 31, St. Paul encourages the faithful to do and live the basic rules of charity. You dedicate to God everything you do and all your activities. In v.32, Paul follows up his recommendation in v. 31, by being more specific: Give no offense (don’t scandalize, be sensitive to their needs, don’t turn them off) to all people (now divided into three: Jews, Greeks, church). In v.33, Paul is more positive (to please everyone), meaning, that whatever he does will not be for his personal advantage but for the benefit of others. The reason: that they may be saved. The last verse (11,1) summarizes what he is trying to say. He is not ashamed to say “Be imitators of me… (of course, Paul can say that not because he is a perfect man or he is self-conceited, but because he is an actual imitator of Christ). If they imitate his behavior, they are actually imitating Christ.

11 Reflections on the 2 nd reading Christian faith needs to be translated into Christian charity. Christian charity is not being offensive in words and deeds. The Christian should not scandalize anyone. The Christian should be respectful of other people’s culture and sensitivities. Christians may imitate Paul, who has striven to do all these things in his mission.

12 Gospel Reading: Mark 1,40-45 Cleansing of the Leper 40 A leper came to him and kneeling down, begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean.“ 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean.“ 42 The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Instructions to the Leper 43 Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 44 Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.“ The violation of the leper and its effect on Jesus 45 The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. The focus is on the leper. A simple outline!

13 Textual Context 1,14— 8,33 Outline by Giblin PREACHING THE KINGDOM FROM THE CALL OF DISCIPLES TO PETER’S CONFESSION 1,14— 3,6 A. PREACHING THE KINGDOM, CALL AND DEFENSE OF THE DISCIPLES 1. Jesus preaches after John the Baptist is betrayed, the good news that the kingdom is at hand. (Scene: Galilee; lakeside (1,16; 2,13); to Capernaum (1,21), throughout Galilee (1,38-45), back to Capernaum (2,1-12) and by the lakeside. 1,16— 2,12 1, , , First Group of Episodes:  Call of Simon and Andrew, James and John (to be fishers of men)  A Day at Capernaum (teaching with power; exorcism cures)  Throughout Galilee (preaching; exorcisms; cure of leper)  Return to Capernaum (preaching; forgiveness and cure of paralytic)

14 Gospel Reading: Mark 1,40-45 Cleansing of the Leper 40 A leper came to him and kneeling down, begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean.“ 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean.“ 42 The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Instructions to the Leper 43 Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 44 Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.“ The violation of the leper and its effect on Jesus 45 The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. Commentary V.40 presents the leper having faith in the power of Jesus over leprosy. The leper does not impose. He says, “If you wish…” V.41 presents the positive response of Jesus, out of pity. Jesus shows his compassion toward the man. V.42 presents the immediate result of Jesus’ powerful act. In v.43, Jesus warns the cleansed man (not to broadcast to others) as he sends him away.

15 Gospel Reading: Mark 1,40-45 Cleansing of the Leper 40 A leper came to him and kneeling down, begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean.“ 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean.“ 42 The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Instructions to the Leper 43 Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 44 Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.“ The violation of the leper and its effect on Jesus 45 The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. Jesus tells him to present himself to the priest instead (now he is qualified to participate in the temple liturgy). –The priest should be able to conclude that something is going on outside the temple. V.45 shows the opposite. The cleansed man does not go to the priest, but to the people. He is not interested anymore in giving his message to the priest, but in proclaiming Jesus to the people. The result: Jesus can no longer move around openly. Mark does not make this an issue.

16 Reflection on the gospel reading We can be healed of our physical and spiritual deformities if we humbly approach Jesus, like the leper. In one way or another, we, Christians, are also lepers. We are sick of the leprosy of sin. People can’t bear with us, because of our deformities like our bad behavior, false values, tactlessness, insensitivities, hypocrisies, insincerity, infidelity, carelessness, vices, etc.

17 Reflection on the gospel reading Healing and change will lead us to proclaim the wonderful deeds of God and bring more people to Christ. Our healing can be a strong sign to those who are comfortably living, believing only in status quo. Our healing is a source of energy in drawing people to Jesus.

18 Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm The first reading contains instructions on how to deal with lepers and how lepers should behave. The psalm is a prayer of joy for those who feel healed (forgiven). The second reading talks about being charitable to all kinds of people (lepers included). The gospel reading talks about how Jesus treats the leper and how the leper responds.

19 How to develop your homily / sharing Have you seen lepers? Describe how they look like. Describe your feelings, reactions, etc. Imagine how they suffer physically, mentally and psychologically.

20 The first reading, Leviticus, contains instructions on how to deal with the lepers. To the modern mind, they are very harsh, inhuman and old fashioned (well, the sacred authors did not know exactly how to deal with the disease). We know better now because now leprosy can be treated (even without miracles), and it is no longer that highly contagious as it used to be.

21 The second reading teaches Christians to be charitable to everyone (not to give offense to anyone, esp. those who are afflicted with skin diseases, in connection with the first and gospel readings). No Christian has the right to discredit anyone because of his/her culture, gender, looks, tastes, beliefs and illness. It is a Christian imperative never to inflict pain upon others, to rub salt to injury, to add insult to injury, to make fun of old people and those who commit stupid mistakes in their lives. Christians must be able to treat them with patience, kindness and gentleness.

22 Paul exhorts us to be charitable always. We cannot accomplish anything good in our communities, if we yell at others who disagree with us, especially during meetings. We cannot form Christian communities or missionaries if we tirade and bulldoze them to conform to our plans or personal tastes. We cannot arrive at good and wise decisions if we base our arguments, not on reason, but on our ego, impulses, caprices, likes and dislikes, on our authority, money and on being patrons (patronage).

23 The gospel reading presents a story on how Jesus cleanses the leper. Jesus does not avoid him, instead he heals him. He has pity (compassion) on him. An act of compassion can heal a wounded person. We, Christians, should prioritize healing and restoration of our woundedness and that of others, in order to do more for God’s kingdom. Healings are signs that God’s kingdom is taking hold of us. Our churches must be churches of mercy and compassion.

24 In the eucharist, Jesus comes to us to heal us from our woundedness as a result of our infirmities and sin. In the eucharist, Jesus assures us, who have been made clean through repentance and sacrament of reconciliation, of his saving power. The eucharist is the sacrament, which maintains our spiritual health. The eucharist invites us to help out in the evangelizing and healing mission of Christ.

25 Our Context of Sin and Grace Discrimination Rejection Inflicts wounds on others Spread of HIV Sexual transmission of diseases Unable to cope with pressures of vanity Stigma Dermatologists Medical research Therapists Counselors Healing ministry Healthy skin Comforting words Forgiveness Mental health programs

26 Suggested Songs Set Me Free –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu8qdQZDPB4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu8qdQZDPB4 The Power of Touch (St. Francis) –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUPdN69mFbYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUPdN69mFbY Thank you, Lord –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIu2SBfu5vQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIu2SBfu5vQ


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