In today’s Gospel, Matthew 8:1-4, we find Jesus laying hands on a leper and healing him. Lepers were considered ritually unclean, and anyone who touched a leper would become unclean as well, that is why they were forbidden from being around other people. This poor man not only suffered from the painful and debilitating disease of leprosy, he also suffered from being isolated from society. This shows the completeness of Jesus’ healing. He not only heals physically, but also emotionally and spiritually as well.
As I think about the 18 months that we have all been through with Covid, I think a lot of us can identify much more with the pain of isolation. We may have struggled with being isolated from our families at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, or we may have struggled when a loved one was in the hospital and we were isolated from seeing them. The pain of isolation can be as bad or worse than physical pain.
Today’s Gospel is a good reminder to us that people may not only need physical help, but also help from the pain of isolation. As our society starts to open back up, like Jesus, let us be aware and attentive to those needs as well.
De Colores, Deacon Kevin