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Thursday, January 16, 1997

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Hebrews 3:7-14
Psalm 95
Mark 1:40-45

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mr. unclean

"Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him, and said: 'I do will it. Be cured.' The leprosy left him then and there, and he was cured." —Mark 1:41-42

Jesus touched the leper and thereby made Himself ritually unclean. This meant Jesus could not go to the Temple or the synagogue. He could not even enter a town until the leper He touched was pronounced to be clean by the priest. This is one of the reasons Jesus told the man to go and present Himself to the priest without telling anyone about what had happened (Mk 1:44). However, "the man went off and began to proclaim the whole matter freely" (Mk 1:45). Eventually, this problem was resolved since Jesus later went into cities and to the Temple.

However, in the end, Jesus returned to the ranks of the unclean. "Jesus died outside the gate, to sanctify the people by His own blood. Let us go to Him outside the camp, bearing the insult which He bore" (Heb 13:12-13). Let us go to the Untouchable One Whose touch frees us from the leprosy of sin. Let us worship the spotless, pure Lamb of God despite His ritual uncleanness. Let us love the divine Outcast Who has never cast anyone out (Jn 6:37).

Do you realize what Jesus suffered to make us clean? Thank Him forever.

Prayer:  Father, I offer my life in thanksgiving for Your love.

Promise:  "Encourage one another daily while it is still 'today,' so that no one grows hardened by the deceit of sin. We have become partners of Christ only if we maintain to the end that confidence with which we began." —Heb 3:13-14

Praise:  Timothy reaches out to shut-ins, taking them Jesus in the Eucharist.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996