6th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B
Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him
O God, who teach us that you abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace
as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.
Today’s readings point to the loving compassion of God, which is revealed in the way Jesus always responds to the plight of those around him.
The Book of Leviticus (First Reading) sets the scene by listing the rules concerning those who were declared ‘unclean’, including banishment from the community.
In the Gospel, one such person, suffering with leprosy, breaks the rules designed to maintain isolation. We see how Jesus responds to this desperate plea – with merciful, physical contact – resulting in the person being restored not only to health, but also to a rightful place within the community. There is a further, ironic consequence to this response, with Jesus becoming an outcast, now having to stay in places where nobody lives.
The Psalm praises God, ‘my refuge’, in whom is found joy and salvation, while the Second Reading gives us an injunction to imitate Christ by putting the advantage of the other always first.
Let’s pray for that grace this week, ‘to be helpful to everyone at all times, not anxious for my own advantage’.