Feb 16, 2015

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

In the first reading, the Lord requires any person with leprosy to present themselves to a priest in order to be declared clean or unclean. And if they are unclean, they have to separate themselves from the community and warn others: "I am contaminated! I am unclean!" The person that has a sickness, also has the responsibility to let the priest see him and to decide whether or not it is leprosy. The person with leprosy has the responsibility not to propagate the infection to the community.

Jesus, in the Gospel, cures a leper. And then he says to him: "Go present yourself to the priest and offer for your purification what was prescibed by Moses." Jesus knows that he is clean, but still he requires the man to present himself to the priest and to make his offering. The offerings were sacrifices of different types. The priest offered these sacrifices in order to complete the cleansing and to return the person to full participation in the community.

Sin affects the soul in the same way as leprosy. Sin makes the soul become numb. Once the soul is numb, secondary infections cause deformities in the soul. The soul becomes blind and suffers separation from God and from others. The only remedy is to present yourself to the priest. It is necessary to go to confession. In the case of the leper, who judges: the leper or the priest? The priest declares that the leper is clean. It is the same for the sinner. Sinners do not declare themselves cleansed from their sins. As a priest, I am able to declare that other persons are clean, but as a sinner, I , also, have need of a priest.

The sacrifices offered by the priest of the Old Testament were shadows of the true sacrifice offered by Jesus on the Cross. He gave this sacrifice to his Church so that it might be offered upon our altars. Jesus is our offering, yet we also unite to his only true offering the offering of our own lives. However, it is not sufficient to be present at the Holy Mass for the offering.

We must show ourselves to Jesus. We must ask him to cure us. Then we have to present ourselves to the priest so that he might pronounce that we have been cleansed. And the priest will offer the sacrifice upon the altar and we can participate in the sacrifice.

Jesus looks at you with compassion. He longs to cure you and give you his peace and mercy. He speaks to you the same words that he pronounced to the leper: "I will. Be healed!" But afterwards he also requires that we go to the priest and then we may particpate in his offering. "Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered."


En la primera lectura, el Señor requiere que cualquier persona con lepra a presentarse a un sacerdote para ser declarada limpia o inmunda. Y si son inmundos, tienen que separarse de la comunidad y advertir a los demás: Estoy contaminado! Soy impuro! La persona que tiene una enfermedad, tambien tiene la responsabilidad de dejar que el sacerdote lo ve y decidir si es o no la lepra. La persona con lepra tiene la responsabilidad de no propagar la infección a la comunidad.

Jesús, en el Evangelio, cura a un leproso. Y entonces él le dice: "Ve a presentarte al sacerdote y ofrece por tu purificación lo prescrito por Moisés." Jesús sabe que él está limpio, pero aún requiere el hombre a presentarse al sacerdote y hacer su ofrenda. Las ofrendas eran sacrificios de diferentes tipos. El sacerdote ofreció estos sacrificios para completar la limpieza y devolver la persona a la plena participación en la comunidad.

El pecado afecta el alma de la misma manera como la lepra. El pecado hace que el alma se vuelva insensible. Una vez que el alma es insensible infecciones secundarias causan deformidades en el alma. El alma se vuelve ciego y sufre la separación de Dios y de los demás. El único remedio es presentarte al sacerdote. Es necesario ir a la confesión. En el caso del leproso, quien juzga: el leproso o el sacerdote? El sacerdote declara que el leproso está limpio. Es lo mismo con el pecador. El pecador no declara a sí mismo limpiado de sus pecados. Como sacerdote, puedo declarar que otras personas están limpias, pero como un pecador, yo también necesito un sacerdote.

Los sacrificios ofrecidos por el sacerdote del Antiguo Testamento eran sombras del sacrificio verdadero ofrecido por Jesús en la Cruz. Dio este sacrificio a su Iglesia para que ofreciese sobre nuestros altares. Jesús es nuestra oferta, aunque también unimos a su sola ofrenda verdadera la ofrenda de nuestras propias vidas. Sin embargo, no es suficiente estar presentes en la Santa Misa para la ofrenda.

Debemos mostrarnos a Jesús. Debemos pedirle a curarnos. Entonces tenemos que presentarnos al sacerdote para que pueda pronunciar que hemos sido limpiados. Y el sacerdote ofrecerá el sacrificio sobre el altar y podemos participar en el sacrificio.

Jesús te mira con compasión. Él anhela curarte y darte su paz y misericordia. Él te habla las mismas palabras que pronunció al leproso: "Sí quiero: Sana!" Pero despues también requiere que vayamos al sacerdote y luego participemos en su ofrenda. "Dichoso aquel que ha sido absuelto de su cupla y su pecado."

Feb 7, 2015

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job describes how life is often experienced. It’s a struggle and like a battle. There are victories but they are fleeting. There are empty months and sleepless nights. It’s quite difficult. And when we give it thought, it can seem like we go to sleep not knowing if we will have another day, only to wake up knowing that this day may be filled with sorrows just like the day before it. There are natural joys and beauty all around us but these, too, pass. Not one of the natural delights or any of the beauty of the world can actually satisfy the longing of the human heart. While we may be sorrowful about the eventual ending of this life, we long for something more than what this life can bring us.

Jesus in the Gospel is answering Job’s longing and our longing. He comes preaching and spreading the good news: to the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart, joy. He looks upon our illness with mercy. He triumphs over our battle with evil and sin. More than these things, which are signs of his mercy and love, he gives us himself. Jesus gives us his Body and Blood under the signs of bread and wine so that he can apply the power of his death to free us from our sins and so that we might rise with him to eternal life, be taken up with him into the life of the Trinity in his Ascension and share in his glory forever.

This is the good news: God does care. There is something more than this life. Through the gift of his Holy Spirit we can triumph in Jesus. And the news about how much God loves us is so good, that like Paul, we must share it with everyone. We become all things to all, servants of everyone we meet so that they, too, can share in the joy of knowing Jesus. It is an urgent necessity to do everything that we do for the sake of the gospel in order that we might be made sharers in the good news of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.