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Thursday, January 11, 2024

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1 Samuel 4:1-11
Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 25-26
Mark 1:40-45

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the great exchange

“The man went off and began to proclaim the whole matter freely, making the story public. As a result of this, it was no longer possible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He stayed in desert places.” —Mark 1:45

The man in today’s Gospel was healed of leprosy by Jesus. He disobeyed Jesus’ command to not publicize the healing (Mk 1:44). Because of the leper’s disobedience, Jesus and the healed leper exchanged places. The leper had been forced to live in deserted places. Before his healing, the leper was untouchable, driven out of occupied places by public demand (see Lv 13:46). Now the leper, so anxious to belong to society, tells everyone of his healing at the hands of Jesus. Did he tell others in order to improve his own circumstances and standing in society? That social status would have been restored by a visit to the priest, as Jesus had recommended (Mk 1:44), thus publicly acknowledging to the entire community his well-being.

Jesus had a comprehensive plan for the leper’s physical and social healing, as well as the leper’s re-integration into proper Jewish worship by the approval of the priests (Mk 1:44). The leper didn’t follow Jesus’ plan, and so Jesus paid the price. Jesus endured our sufferings and carried our afflictions (Mt 8:17).

Are there any areas of your life in which you have disobeyed the Lord’s commands? Has God’s plan been defeated in your life and the lives of others (Lk 7:30) because of this disobedience? Repent! Obey the Lord’s commands.

Prayer:  Jesus, grant that I would never think I can restore my life better than You can. May I never block Your path.

Promise:  “Moved with pity, 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.” —Mk 1:41-42

Praise:  Bill went to Confession before Christmas and again before Epiphany. He wanted to be pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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