Mark 1:40-45

The leper falls on his knees before Jesus and begs to be made clean.  A short and powerful story.  Ideal for reflection in a catechumenate meeting, right?  Right.

We talked about faith.  What does it take to be unclean, to be an outcast and approach a man who is the latest sensation in the area?  Did the leper have the doubts and misgivings that I may have to take such a leap of faith?  What are those misgivings?

One of our candidate often says he is afraid of “losing his faith.”  Part of me is not sure what he means by that.  I wanted to talk to him about that today but he missed our meeting.  Faith is a gift,  It is always there for our taking, if we are open to it.  Which means that we need to believe enough to look for it.  Maybe that’s what he means.  He doesn’t want to lose the faith that God gives us faith.  And how can that happen if, if,if you keep your eye on the gifter?

There are people who don’t believe there is anything beyond this life.  There always have been.  They are and probably always have been in the majority. But having once accepted the gift, can I then throw it away?  Perhaps, in despair.  But that means I have misunderstood, mis-perceived the gift I have been given.

Brian talked about the lepers in our society. I thought about going in that direction in the meeting.  I thought of using the example of those with aids as the most recent outcasts in our society.  Brian went further, because Trinity has had and has numerous members who have aids.  He identified our lepers as the homeless.  He admitted that we struggle with accepting these lepers. (I know I do.)  We fear to touch them. They are truly unclean.  And many seem to be trying to scam us.

But how do we know the scammer who reaches out from the one taking the leap of faith that someone from a church will help them?  We don’t at first.  And we don’t after awhile.  We have members who have grown and who have gotten their self-esteem back.  They have had their faith in humanity and in God restored.

The roster includes Randall, ., William.  Pretty small but there may be others of whom we don’t know.  Then there’s Robert.  He’s around everyday.  He is like a gentle, big bear.  I greet him everyday.  I joked with him in the food line the other eve.  When do i invite him to more?

And what about the women?  They are fewer in number.  I suspect theyhave a very hard life trying to survive on the street.  It is pretty brutal.

So far in mark, Jesus has been surrounded by men:  John the Baptist, the first disciples, those he heals.   Interesting that the first who need healing are men.

 

About Jerry

Catechumenate ministry is my passion. I have been involved in the catechumenate since 1980 in both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal branches of the Church. I am a "progressive," ecumenical Christian who is realistic enough to know that the Church has never been "One"; is often not "Holy"; strives to be "Catholic" and is "Apostolic" only when members respect the Tradition rather than the latest customs. I have been fortunate to be able to focus on various elements of philosophy, theology and Christian history during my studies. I am able to bring them all to bear in catechumenate ministry.
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