Today's Gospel: Mark 1:40-45 In today’s Gospel, Jesus is “moved with pity” and heals a man of leprosy. Although Jesus explicitly tells the man to say nothing, the man goes on to tell all. This makes it impossible for Jesus to enter the town. Instead, Jesus remains outside, but He continues to heal all that come to Him. Isn’t this typical of Jesus? His heart goes out to heal, even after people disregard His instructions. Even when it means more work for Him to do. Today is the birth and death anniversary of my first born son, Joshua Emet. The movement to pity and the postponed entry into the town reminds me of working through suffering and grief. It helps me identify with the suffering man who was healed and with Jesus Christ who suffered alongside him and the others. In the First Reading today, I was shocked to read of a terrible defeat. Israel was losing in battle against the Philistines. They wondered why the Lord would let this happen. They marched out the Ark of the Covenant and it raised their spirits. The Philistines became fearful. Determined not to be enslaved, they persevered. Israel was defeated, the Ark was captured, and the two sons of Eli were put to death. What type of happy ending was this? Our lives are not always as simple as Jesus showing up and solving our problems. Nor is the Good News merely lemonade from lemons. Suffering is real. Defeat is real. Yet neither are final. This is more than rescue from death. This is redemption and dying into eternal life. Through this, I have come to understand the God who is with me and with my son. One day we shall enter the Kingdom together.


When has God been moved to pity in your life and redeemed you from defeat?


Lord, Who is with us and those no longer with us, reach out to us, for our life is in Your hands.
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