Sunday 14 February 2021

A gentle touch


A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. 

Mark 81:40-42


Yes, it’s the touch that does it, the thing that is worthy of mention, marked out, a simple gesture with staggering repercussions. In the ancient world, those who suffered from leprosy were untouchables, pushed out of the community, a person from whom others turned away, turned down, Sadly, there are untouchables today – people who are disregarded, downtrodden, despised, treated as less than human, second rate. The recent staggering TV series, ‘It’s a Sin’ reminds us how those who first experienced the devastating pandemic of HIV and AIDS in the 1980s were treated. For a while they became untouchable, hidden, an embarrassment, someone to fear. And this in our lifetime, our country. The touch of Jesus not only brought physical healing to the man with leprosy, it cut through taboo, broke down barriers. His sympathy and sorrow for the man restored his dignity, his need for human connections. Perhaps, as important as it was for him to be released from a physical infliction, it’s the touch that may bring the greatest healing of all. Love changes everything. Love conquers all. Sometimes, all it needs is a gentle touch to change the world.


God our Father, help us to reach out with love and compassion to those who feel unloved or forgotten. Give us courage. Fill our hearts with love. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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