One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time – Gospel Mark 1:40–45 and the Memorial of St Anthony Abbot (251-356)
And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”…Mark 1:40
REFLECTION – “It is possible to see leprosy as a symbol of sin, which is the true impurity of heart that can distance us from God. It is not in fact the physical disease of leprosy that separates us from God, as the ancient norms supposed but sin, spiritual and moral evil. The sins that we commit distance us from God and, if we do not humbly confess them, trusting in divine mercy, they will finally bring about the death of the soul. This miracle thus has a strong symbolic value. Jesus, as Isaiah had prophesied, is the Servant of the Lord who “has borne our griefs / and carried our sorrows” (Is 53: 4). In His Passion He will become as a leper, made impure by our sins, separated from God, He will do all this out of love, to obtain for us reconciliation, forgiveness and salvation. In the Sacrament of Penance, the Crucified and Risen Christ purifies us through His ministers with His infinite mercy, restores us to communion with the heavenly Father and with our brothers and makes us a gift of His love, His joy and His peace.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us invoke the Virgin Mary whom God preserved from every stain of sin so that she may help us to avoid sin and to have frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Confession, the sacrament of forgiveness, whose value and importance for our Christian life must be rediscovered today.”…Pope Benedict XVI – Angelus 15 February 2009
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, we make our prayer to You at morning, noon and evening. Dispel from our hearts, the darkness of sin and bring us to the true light, Christ Your Son. Grant that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Anthony Abbot, we may deny ourselves and love You above all things. Through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.