February 13, 2021
If you would like to view today's Mass, "6th Sunday in Ordinary Time" please click the picture above.
(Saturday's 4pm Mass will be available online by about 7pm)
Do you remember the phone companies commercial jingle, "Reach out, Reach out and touch someone. Call up and just say hi, reach out..."
Today I Googled that commercial and it is really a great one - maybe even worthy of the Super Bowl! It went like this: A young man, Bobby, is away at college and looks sad. He calls home and his mom, busy in the kitchen answers the phone. The dog is whimpering in the background and Bobby said, "Hey Mom, you better let Higgins out before he has an accident." Then his sister Amy came into the kitchen and she is singing quietly to herself and Bobby says," Sounds like Amy has a big date tonight" Mom says, "how did you know she was going out?" and Bobby answers, "She always sings when she is going out." Mom says, "How's school going Rob?" Bobby hears a socker ball bounce and says, "That's Peter coming home from soccer practice." Just as Peter walks in the door. Then Mom says, "Never mind about Peter, what's wrong Robert?" and he says, "Who said anything is wrong." And Mom says, "You're not the only one in this family who can hear you know"
It is really neat because the Mom is able to tell that something is wrong, even with all the noise and distractions, she is able to cut through it all to the heart of the trouble that Bobby is having. In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus is reminding us to "Reach out and touch someone." To listen carefully and identify someone who is hurting, and then cut through the noise and distractions, and help them - bring them healing.
In Jesus' case, his touch cured someone of leprosy, and more. Back then, if you had that horrible disease of the skin, you were supposed to disconnect yourself from other people so that they would not catch it. If you had leprosy, you would have to stay outside the city limits and if anyone came near you, you would have to say "unclean, unclean" so they would stay away. For sure, they had to feel isolated, cut off from contact with other people, lonely and alone.
So, according to the law of that time, this person with leprosy was breaking the law even coming up to Jesus. But Jesus cuts through all the noise and distractions to bring healing to this person. Not only of their disease, but also because of their loneliness. It says that Jesus, moved with pity, "stretched out his hand and touched the person" - something no one would do at that time! But something that had to make that person feel included and loved once again.
Today with the pandemic, you and I can see people who are lonely and hurting. Soon, we will all have our vaccinations, and the pandemic will end, but there will always be those who are alone and hurting. Those who can't drive. Those who don't have the ability to work a job. Those who cannot put words together to let others know what they are thinking. Also lonely and hurting, are the people we try to avoid because, in their brokenness, they turn to stealing or scamming those around them.
Every person needs our healing touch in a different way. The only thing constant is all of the noise and distraction that can easily give us reason not to help. Can you, like Jesus, cut through all of that, and reach out and touch someone with your healing hand?