Entrance Ant.
Be my protector, O God, a mighty stronghold to save me. For you are my rock, my stronghold! Lead me, guide me, for the sake of your name.

FIRST READING
“The leper shall dwell alone in a habitation outside the camp.”
A reading from the Book of Leviticus (Leviticus 13: 1-2.44-46)

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When a man has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it tums into a leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests. “He is a leprous man, he is unclean; the priest must pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head. The leper who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, ‘Unclean, unclean. ’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean; he shall dwell alone in a habitation outside the camp.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 32: 1-2.5. 11 (R. 7)
R/. You are a hiding place for me,
you surround me with cries of deliverance.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile. R.

To you I have acknowledged my sin;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said, “I will confess my transgression to the Lord.”
And you have forgiven the guilt of my sin. R.

Rejoice in the Lord, exult you just!
Ring out your joy, all you upright of heart! R.

SECOND READING          
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:31-11: 1)

Brethren: Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offence to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God, just as I try to please all men in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA Luke 7:16
Alleluia. A great prophet has arisen among us, and God has visited his people. Alleluia

GOSPEL
“The leprosy left him, and he was made clean. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 1:40-45)

At that time: A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Throughout history leprosy was looked at with horror.  Lepers were forbidden to enter cities;  they had to live on the outskirts and when they come for food left behind they had to make some noise and shout “unclean” so that nobody would run into them. People saw leprosy as a punishment from God.  But Jesus saw beyond outward appearance.  He told His disciples He had come to heal the sick and cleanse leapers.  In the sacrament of Penance Christ brings us inner healing by touching us with grace.  He brings His spiritual medicine to scars of the soul; wounds of sin; bruises of the past. That is why we need to go to confession.  Jesus gave us the power of His sacraments, especially confession, to bring His healing touch to places where no doctor can operate; no therapist can probe; no medication can sooth; no friend can reach.

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