6 Sunday B - Healing of the Leper


3 Sundays - 3 healings: One at the Synagogue, second at the home and the third at the market place (outside). These are the locations of our ministries. These are places we do our healings/ministries.

At the synagogue the man with the unclean spirit shouts at Jesus as the "Holy one of God" (first recognition of Jesus in Mark). Peter's mother-in-law makes no declaration but gets up and serves him whereas the leper goes around proclaiming him. He announces abroad. Visible missionary zeal. Again three attitudes of response to healing: out of fear, out of love and out of faith.

In Madison, Alabama, a 57 year old Indian, Sureshbhai Patel, was doing his morning walk two days' ago while visiting his son. Two police officials pull up to him to question him and he says, "No English". They eventually toss him violently to the floor face down, handcuff him and tries to raise him. They damaged his spinal cord in the act. He's partially paralyzed and fighting for his life in a hospital. Our revulsion to dirt, disorder, color, differences cause so much of damage to national pride, human rights, Christian beliefs and simple humanity. Leprosy happens to be one of them. It was that embrace that Francis of Assisi and Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger of Montreal did changed their lives forever. It was that embrace Pope Francis did while washing the foot of a Moslem woman prisoner in Rome last Maundy Thursday that the world sat up and took notice of.

What's that repulsion or aversion or repugnance that still keeps us captive in our prejudices and does not allow us to expand the boundaries of our value and belief systems? Where is the "stretching out" of the hand and "touching" moment in our lives?

Tony Kayla, c.s.c.
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Thomas O’LoughlinIntroduction to the Celebration 

We live in a world of suffering: suffering caused by diseases, suffering caused by the exclusion of people, suffering caused by greed and jealousy. But rather than just say that is ‘the lot of humanity’ we look towards Jesus as the one who brings healing, who welcomes people into his embrace, and who proclaims a new way of living. To belong to this community is to recognise the mystery of God’s forgiveness and healing made visible to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
 
Michel DeVerteuil
General Comments

Today’s passage is in three sections:
– verses 40-41: Jesus heals a leper;
– verses 42-45a: Jesus protects his identity;
– verse 45b: the people still come to him.
As with last week’s passage, we are free to focus on one section alone or to see the three sections as a unit, one moving into the other.

1. The healing of lepers is a feature of Jesus’ ministry – appropriately, since leprosy is a powerful symbol of the alienation which he came to free humanity from. In meditating on this passage, we are free to identify the particular form of leprosy we have experienced. We will then become freer to decide for ourselves who we want to identify with:
–  the leper, the one who has been healed from uncleanness;
–  Jesus, the one who brings the marginalized into the community.

The story is told imaginatively and every detail can touch us:
– the helplessness of the leper, “pleading on his knees”;
– the pathetic “if you want to” – the leper dares not put too much hope even in the
one he  knows can cure him;
– the immediate healing once he is touched.
Then there is the greatness of Jesus
– entering into the pain of the man (“feeling sorry for him,” as the Jerusalem bible translation has it, does not convey the compassion for the man that Jesus feels in his heart);
– Jesus “stretching out” his hand, indicating that he must reach far out from where he is at present in order to meet the leper where he is;
– once the man has been touched the healing is immediate.

2. This section introduces the theme of what scholars have termed “the messianic secret” – Jesus’ vain attempt to conceal his identity until the time is ripe. This messianic secret is related in all three synoptic gospels, but it is stressed most strongly in St Mark. Scholars have done extensive research to determine what was Jesus’ motive for insisting on the messianic secret. In lectio divina however, our approach is to start from our human experience. We ask ourselves questions like:
– what in our experience corresponds to the messianic secret?
– what does our experience teach us about why Jesus insisted on the messianic secret?

– how does the concept of the messianic secret help us to understand ourselves and
the way we must livemout our vocation in the world?
This approach from experience reveals that all of us human beings have to work out for ourselves what is our God-given mission in the world, what we have to offer others that no one can do in our name. Like Jesus, we will find that we must struggle to preserve our “messianic secret.” We do not allow others to define our mission to them.

Our passage, if taken as a unit, brings out that those whom we have helped and who admire us are among the “others” we must resist. Our success with them can be an obstacle to our remaining faithful to our personal vision. They remind us that we have touched them but we learn from gospel passages like this one that it was a painful struggle for Jesus, as it is for us.

3. Leaders who speak from their inner truth are very precious. Nowadays many leaders are content to make conventional statements – “this is what I am about”. What St Mark says of Jesus will be true of all those to whom we relate – we may be unpopular to them; it will seem very hard for them to reach us. These things don’t matter however – “even so, people from all around will come to us.”

This must also be what attracts people to the Church. It is not our business to make ourselves attractive. All the Church’s efforts must be devoted to being true to its vision. Often in history, the Church has gone along with the values of the world.

There were times when we accepted slavery, supported the imperialist ideology of the colonial powers, allowed ourselves to be protected by the armies of states.
We thank God that in many parts of the world, in recent centuries, the Church has learned to keep its distance from these popular sayings – like Jesus we must learn to “stay outside where nobody lives.”

Prayer Reflection 

       “People are made people through other people.” …  African proverb

Lord, we remember a time when we felt unclean:
– we were ashamed of   our sexuality;
– we did something which made us want to hide ourselves;
– we let down our fellow workers or our team;
– we deceived someone who trusted us;
– we betrayed the ideals of a social movement we belonged to.
Like the lepers in Jesus’ day,
– we felt isolated, unclean, with no sense of self-worth;
– we didn’t want to mix with friends or family.

Then one day we felt able to come to someone who we felt could bring us healing:
one of our parents, a friend or neighbour, a priest or other member of our
church community.
We remember how we felt at that moment, pleading on our knees, not literally perhaps,
but our body language showed how nervous and insecure we were – like the leper –
hopeful and yet so unsure of ourselves that even though we trusted the person,
something within us still whispered, “If you want to…”
We thank you for the compassion of that Jesus person,
laughing off our doubts and saying, “Of course I want to!”
stretching out a hand across the wide expanse which separated us,
so that we felt touched and held.
There was no more to say then, the warmth in that touch said, “Be cured!”
and at once we were cured of our feelings of uncleanness,
and we felt able to show ourselves to the community.

Lord, we think today of societies torn apart by ancient feuds,
so that the different communities look on each other as lepers:
– dissenters and those who accept the status quo in the United States
and other prosperous countries
-Israelis and Arabs in the Holy Land
– Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka
– Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland
– warring factions in the Republic of the Congo.
We thank you for sending them people like Jesus who recognise
in those of the opposing side
human beings who beneath their hostility
are really pleading to be accepted and to belong to the wider community.
Like Jesus with the leper,
they assure these others that they want to work together with them,
they are anxious to stretch out their hands
across the centuries of violence and deeply entrenched barriers.
They touch them, and it seems that in an instant
resentment, suspicion, inability to forgive and to trust are overcome.

       “To have convincing authority we must share the journeys of people, enter their fears, be touched by their disappointments, their questions, their failures, their doubts.” …Timothy Radcliffe, former Master General of the Dominicans

Lord, as a Church in the various communities that make up our state,
we want to care for those who are neglected by the majority
– those who are divorced and remarried;
– members of the gay community;
– those who belong to a lower class than ourselves;
– members of a different culture or sub-culture.
Forgive us that we want to care for them while standing aloof and feeling superior,
so that we become angry when people are suspicious of us
and wonder whether we really want to cure them.
We pray that our Church may have Jesus’ generosity of spirit
which will allow us to understand how leprosy breeds suspicion,
so that we will brush away their doubts
and stretch our hands as far as we need to,
until we can touch their pain and they will feel part of our community.

Lord, it is a long and painful struggle to remain true to ourselves,
and we thank you that your Son Jesus underwent that struggle with us.
On the cross he remained faithful while the chief priests and elders taunted him,
at other times too, he had to keep his distance from those who admired him,
talked freely about his great deeds and told his story everywhere.
We pray that we may be stern like him in being faithful to our personal goals,
like him refuse to go openly into any town
and spend long periods in places where nobody lives.
Even so, people from all around will come to us,
and we will then be able to relate with them from the truth of ourselves.

      “When you become important, it is easy to fall from a true prophet into a
false one.”   …
Jean Vanier
Lord, forgive us, your Church,
for the times when we have allowed ourselves to be defined by those whom
we have helped:
– the graduates of our schools;
– those who have been cured at our hospitals;
– the conquistadors and colonial governors with whom we collaborated.
Forgive us that we felt proud when they started talking about us freely
and telling the story everywhere.
We thank you that in many countries of the world,
your Church took the decision to follow in the footsteps of Jesus
and reach out to those whom society treats as lepers,
even though this meant becoming isolated,
no longer going openly into any town, staying outside where nobody lived.
A strange thing happened – even so, people from all around kept coming to her!

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Homily Notes

1. There is always a strange tension when we gather as God’s people. On the one hand, we become conscious of our unity in the Christ: people who are sisters and brothers in baptism. The way we speak at the liturgy reminds us of this. On the other hand, we recall in prayer the brokenness of humanity: people who are sick, people who are warring with one another, people who are suffering because of the actions of fellow humans. Today we remind ourselves that Jesus entered into this suffering world bringing healing and peace, and that he has called us to carry on this work of reconciling people to one another and to the Father.

2. Put bluntly, if we want to gather here as sisters and brothers – and that is the condition of taking part in the Eucharist –then we have to be individuals who bring healing and forgiveness to those we encounter.

3. Jesus encountered the man with the skin complaint, touched him and brought healing. We encounter others and touch their lives; that encounter should be one that promotes peace and trust between people.

4. We often get carried away by the wow-factor when we hear of Jesus’s miracles. Then instead of concentrating on what they show us about the world God wants, we ask questions about how it could happen. Miracles show us another world. The question is not ‘how did that happen but ‘how can we make this glimpse of another world a plan for our action in this world?

5. Likewise we often get carried away by high-sounding ideas: the world would be a better place if only … and if only … and if only; but then nothing happens. In the gospel we hear of Jesus the healer of humanity when he meets one sick person; and something happens. We meet as his people who have a vision of a transformed society, and which is built up whenever any one of us makes a difference to someone who is ill, or excluded, or marginalised.

6. The odds are that each of us gathered here will encounter one fellow creature during the coming week who is our equivalent of the socially isolated sick person: someone on the margins of society, reviled, suspected, suffering. When that person encounters us will she or he encounter more of the same or will it be more like encountering the Christ? The greatest miracle of change may be in how we react in that encounter.
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Sean Goan
Gospel Notes

In the New Testament the healing ministry of Jesus does not focus so much on his ability to heal as on what the healings mean. This is particularly clear in today’s incident. The leper who comes to Jesus is not only suffering because of his physical condition, he is also excluded from his community in the manner outlined in the first reading. This clearly adds to his sense of isolation and abandonment. So when he begs for healing, Jesus is moved with compassion at the sight of his suffering. In healing him, however, he also insists that he take the steps required to be readmitted to the community. In this way, this miracle of Jesus touches not only the victim but also all those around him. Jesus is not only healing the leprosy, he is also challenging attitudes to it and this is made obvious when he reaches out and touches the leper. 

Reflection
There are many examples from religious traditions around the world, including Christianity, which show that religion is often used as a means of excluding people or as a way of creating an elite or perfect group. However, it is clear both from what Jesus said and what he did that the kingdom of God is inclusive. He reached out to those who were deemed rejected by God and even went so far as to include himself among them when he went to the cross. Let us strive to recognise and overcome our own intollerence and to replace it with the compassion of Christ.

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1.     Fr.Tony Kadavil: 

#1: The healing touch: Studies show that babies who are not touched may die. Experts tell us that infants need to be held a lot. They have a basic need for physical warmth. Marcel Gerber was sent by a United Nations committee to study the effects of protein deficiency on Ugandan children. She found, to her surprise, that Uganda's infants were developmentally the most advanced in the world. It was only after two years of age that the children began to be seriously damaged by such things as tribal taboos and food shortages. Ugandan infants were almost constantly held by their mothers and mother surrogates. They went everywhere with their mothers. The physical contact with the mother and the constant movement seemed to be the factors that propelled these infants to maturity beyond Western standards. Many young parents today understand this principle and make it a practice to massage their infants. That's a wise practice. We all have a need to be touched. Studies have shown that touching has physiological benefits--even for adults. One researcher made numerous studies on the effects of the practice many Christians recognize called "laying on of hands." She discovered that when one person lays hands on another, the hemoglobin levels in the bloodstreams of both people go up, which means that body tissues receive more oxygen, producing more energy and even regenerative power. Jesus could have healed this man with leprosy simply by speaking, but he reached out and touched him, too. He may have known that this was exactly what this man needed.

# 2: St. Francis of Assisi and the leper: Today’s Scripture lessons teach us that the sick and the maimed are, for us, not to be objects of scorn, but potential reservoirs of God's mercy. St. Francis of Assisi, for instance, understood this. At one time in his life, he had a terrible fear of lepers. Then one day when he was out for a walk, he heard the warning bell that lepers were required to ring in the Middle Ages. When a leper emerged from a clump of trees, St. Francis saw that he was horribly disfigured. Half of his nose had been eaten away; his hands were stubs without fingers and his lips were oozing white pus. Instead of giving in to his fears, Francis ran forward, embraced the leper and kissed him. Francis’ life was never the same after that episode. He had found a new relationship with God, a new sensitivity to others and a new energy for his ministry.

2.     From the Connections: 

Lepers, statistics and ghosts

A writer who was recently laid off by his magazine reflects on his “life as a statistic”:

“I was watching the television news recently when it suddenly hit me that I was on it.  Not that you’d have noticed.  I was one of the 10,080,000 counted as unemployed . . . placing me among 6.5 percent of the non-farm workforce, the highest jobless rate in 14 years . . . Now I’m not looking for any sympathy, although I still don’t understand why the government didn’t deem the magazine that laid me off too big to fail, as it did some financial institutions . . . I’m sure that many of the unemployed are worse off than I am.  Thanks to savings and my wife’s job, we can still pay the bills.

“It’s more of the psychic impact that’s taking its toll: the feeling, most noticeable from 8 A.M. Monday to 5 P.M. Friday, that I’m on the outside, while everyone else — or 93.5 percent of them, anyway — is on the inside.

“And not a single one of them is returning phone calls or e-mail.

“When you’re on the outside, you quickly forget what it’s like on the inside.  Instead of dreading a blinking light on your answering machine, you’re looking forward to it.  Instead of unread messages piling up in your in-box, they’re trickling in.  Even the Nigerian bankers have struck me from their list.

“Initially I was a bit choosy about which job postings I’d respond to, blithely assuming that employers would be stampeding for my services.  Now I answer them all.  I figure a bolt of lightning would find me more attractive than a prospective employer.  Actually, I shouldn’t say that.  Several people have responded.  But I think they’re only teasing me.  They get my hopes up with a phone call or even an interview, only to, well, forget I existed.

“After I lost my job, I turned into merely a number.  Then worse: I became a ghost.”

[From “My Life as a Statistic” by Steve Maas, The Boston Globe Magazine, December 7, 2008.]

We sometimes reduce others to mere statistics that serve as warnings to us of the disaster that can befall us if we aren’t careful and on guard — we forget that hidden in these cold numbers are real, live people whom we have consigned to the margins because of the “uncleanliness” of their failure and misfortune.  They are the “lepers” of our own time and place.  Christ who healed the leper and the unclean comes now to “cleanse” us of our debilitating sense of self that blinds us to the sacredness and dignity of those we reject as “lepers,” to heal us of our own discouragement and hopelessness so that we realize again that God extends his compassion and grace even to the likes of us.  Before God, no one is a leper beyond the reach of his mercy and compassion; all of us are sons and daughters of the Father, made in the sacred image of the God of justice, peace and reconciliation.  These especially difficult times challenge us not to let a devastated economy reduce people to statistical “lepers” but to reach out to one another with compassionate dignity and respectful generosity.    

THE WORD:

Today's Gospel is Mark’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus.  In the event witnessed by Peter, James and John on the mountain, the promise of the first covenant (Moses the great law giver and Elijah the great prophet) converges with the fulfillment of the new covenant (Jesus the Messiah).

Throughout Israel's history, God revealed his presence to Israel in the form of a cloud (for example, the column of cloud that led the Israelites in the desert during the Exodus -- Exodus 15).  On the mountain of the transfiguration, God again speaks in the form of a cloud, claiming the transfigured Jesus as his own Son.

Returning down the mountain, Jesus urges the three not to tell of what they had seen, realizing that their vision would confirm the popular misconception of an all powerful, avenging Messiah.  The mission of Jesus the Messiah means the cross and resurrection, concepts Peter and the others still do not grasp.

HOMILY POINTS:                                     

What the disciples saw in Jesus on the mountain was the divinity -- the very life and love of God -- that dwelled within him.  That love of God lives within each one of us, as well, calling us beyond our own needs, wants and interests. 

Love that calls us beyond ourselves is transforming.  In the transforming love of Christ the Messiah-Servant, we can “transfigure” despair into hope, sadness into joy, anguish into healing, estrangement into community.

The Jesus of the Gospel comes with a heavy price: the glorious Christ of the Transfiguration will soon become the Crucified Christ of Good Friday.  Accepting the God of blessing is easy, but when that God becomes the God of suffering who asks us to give readily and humbly to others and to forgive one another without limit or condition, then we begin to insulate ourselves from the relationship God invites us to embrace.  In risking the pain and demands of loving one another as Christ has loved us, the divinity we recognize in the Jesus of the Transfiguration becomes for us the eternal life of the Jesus of Easter. 

3.     Fr. Jude Botelho: 

The first reading from Leviticus describes the terrible plight of the lepers in the Old Testament. The leper was considered unclean and had to proclaim that he was unclean, by his dress, appearance and voice. As long as anyone was suffering from this disease he was ostracized and had to live outside human dwellings. More fearful than the disease were the social effects of being an outcast shunned by society. In Israel, leprosy was considered as the ultimate punishment for sin. Though leprosy is curable today, it is still dreaded and we keep away from lepers. We still have lepers close by - people who, for one reason or another, are defined by their condition and not treated as people -the homeless, the unattractive, many diseased, the armless, the twisted body, people with Aids. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves also that we ourselves are often, in one way or another, inwardly leprous.

Handicap no barrier

Henri Vicardi was born in 1912 in New York City to immigrant parents. He was born without normal legs. He spent most of his early life in a hospital. He did not receive his artificial legs till he was twenty-seven. But what a life he lived! He has become one of the most respected figures in the fields of rehabilitation and education. He has devoted his life to ensuring that severely disabled individuals might have all the opportunities to achieve their fullest potential as human beings. In 1952 he founded the internationally famed Human Resources Centre in Elberton, Long Island. Henri has been an advisor to every president from Roosevelt to Reagan. Once, an interviewer asked him, "Henri where did you get such a positive attitude towards life?" His answer was a classic. He said, "When the turn came for another crippled boy or girl to be sent to the world, God consulted his Council of Ministers and they suggested that they could be sent to the Vicardi's family."
Francis Xavier in 'The World's Best Inspiring Stories'

The leper in today's gospel in spite of being forbidden to associate or draw near to people, boldly approached Jesus and voices his simple prayer: "If you wish, you can make me clean." He did not ask for a cure, his was a statement of belief in the all-inclusive power of Jesus, an affirmation of his own dependence on Jesus, an act of faith. He left himself totally open to whatever Jesus wanted to do with him. Jesus was moved by the approach of the leper, out of sympathy for the afflicted. He stretched out his hand and touched him. Jesus broke all conventions and touched and healed the leper. It was a symbolic act which no doubt shocked the onlookers. Most of us are afraid of the sick, the poor and the outcasts of society. We may give them a few coins, in order to get rid of them but we do not wish to touch them or to be touched by them. Yet we often seek a human touch. We feel honoured when someone important shakes our hands or gives us a pat on the back. "Of course I want to!" Jesus said to the leper. "Be cured!" And the leprosy left him and he was cured. He challenged us, his followers, to reach out to those society rejects today: prisoners, drug addicts, travellers, aids victims. It is amazing what people can do for others. People can rekindle hope, bring back the zest of living, inspire plans for the future, restore self-respect. They can even mirror dimly the infinite charity of God. Jesus had this great understanding of, and feeling for people who were suffering.

Made whole again

In 1981 Peter Cropper, the British violinist, was invited to Finland to play a special concert. As a personal favour to Peter, the Royal Academy lent him their priceless 258-year-old Stradivarius for use in the concert. This rare instrument takes its name from the Italian violin maker, Antonio Stradivari. It is made of 80 pieces of special wood and covered with 30 coats of special varnish. Its beautiful sound has never been duplicated. When Peter Cropper got to Finland, an incredible nightmare took place. Going on stage, Peter tripped and fell. The violin broke into several pieces. Peter flew back to London in a state of shock. A master craftsman named Charles Beare agreed to try to repair the violin. He worked endless hours on it. Finally he got it back together again. Then, came the dreaded moment of truth - What would the violin sound like? Beare handed the violin to Peter Cropper. Peter's heart was pounding inside him as he picked up the bow and began to play. Those present could hardly believe their ears. Not only was the violin's sound excellent, but it actually seemed better than before. In the months ahead Peter took the violin on a worldwide tour. Night after night the violin, everyone thought was ruined forever, drew standing ovations from concert audiences. -The violin story is a beautiful illustration of what happened to the leper in today's gospel. Through the touch of Jesus he was made whole again.

Mark Link in 'Sunday Homilies'

God's Power and you

In this book 'The Spirit of Synergy: God's Power and you', Methodist minister Robert Keck tells how he was racked with pain and confined to a wheelchair by the age of forty. In search of a non-chemical way to manage his pain, Keck explored Christian faith healing, psychic healing, acupuncture, biofeedback and medical hypnosis. Quite suddenly, 80% of his pain disappeared and has not returned. Keck believes that his healing happened when all his research formed a momentary gestalt - that is, a unified peak experience. This was his discovery of synergy, a way of using all the resources of body, mind and spirit for healing and pursuing wholeness. In his holistic approach to health, Robert Keck uses meditative prayer to tap the resources of altered states of consciousness where God's activity frequently takes place. Keck's contention is that if God can speak to us through dreams, why not let him heal us through meditative prayer if he so wills?

Albert Cylwicki in 'His Word Resounds'

The Samaritans

Chad Varah was an Anglican priest. In 1953 he buried a girl who had killed herself. The coroner, at her inquest, suggested that she might not have done this desperate act if someone had been around who would have listened to her troubles. Chad Varah decided to use his London church and a telephone to listen to people who were in despair. He put a small advertisement in the local paper, and during the first week he had 27 calls. Soon he was listening and advising people 12 hours a day. There were so many people waiting in his outer office to see him that he asked some of his congregation to come and provide cups of tea for them. Then he found that often people who had come into his outer office in great distress had become different people by the time they reached him, and some did not even wait to see him because one of the helpers had befriended them. So he decided to train a group of his congregation so that they could become more helpful in the way they befriended the clients. That is how the Samaritans were formed.

Gerard Fuller in 'Stories for All Seasons'

Your children are not your own

In his famous book 'The Prophet' the Lebanese poet and mystic Khalil Gibran writes, "Your children are not your own, They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you." The Church normally celebrates Holy Childhood day around this time. This should remind us of the Holy Child who identifies with the little ones of society. Indeed today we should pray that we become more childlike, striving to be like our children. Children call for our immediate attention since they are the most vulnerable of society. We cannot say we will do something for them 'tomorrow'. Their name is 'today'. Hence, let us reach out to our children and also to the 'little ones' in society.
Francis Gonsalves in 'Sunday Seeds for Daily Deeds'

He touched me

Some years ago, a man collapsed on a busy corner in downtown Brooklyn. Within minutes an ambulance rushed him to the nearest General Hospital. From time to time he would regain consciousness and would keep calling for his son. In his wallet, the attending nurse found an old letter, which indicated that he had a son, who was a marine stationed in North Carolina. So she called and asked him to come over immediately. As soon as he arrived, the nurse took him to the man's bedside and whispered, "Your son is here! Your son is here!" The old man opened his eyes, and even though he could not recognize the face, he noticed the marine uniform. Reaching out compassionately the young marine took the old man's hand and held it lovingly. Sometime later the nurse urged him to go out and have something to eat and drink. But the marine declined, only asking for a chair, so he could sit by the old man's bedside and keep holding his hand. Sometime before dawn the patient passed away. Stepping up to the marine, the nurse extended her sympathy. "Nurse" he stammered, "who is this man?" The nurse couldn't believe her ears. "Why?" she replied hesitantly, "I thought he was your father." "Quite honestly, nurse, my father died some time ago. I have never seen this man before in my life." "Then why did you not say something earlier?" asked the nurse. "I would have" answered the marine, "but I could see that he was too sick to realize that I wasn't his son. I could also see that he was slipping fast and that he needed the comfort of his son. And so I decided to stay." Compassion is indeed a virtue that makes the love and concern of God a tangible reality for another human being in distress.

Anonymous

God wants us to be whole and bring healing to others! May we be wounded healers!