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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for February 11

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

February 11, 2018 — Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 1:40-45
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

There’s an old story about a boy who was a hopeless troublemaker at school. His parents, even though they weren’t Catholic, decided to send him to the local Catholic school. Two weeks later they attended a parent-teacher meeting, expecting to hear the worst. Instead, Sister complimented them on their well-behaved son. Amazed, they went home and asked him what had happened. “When I walked into the classroom,” he replied, “and saw that man nailed to the cross, I knew they meant business!”

That boy met Jesus, and his life was changed. In today’s Gospel a leper, a hopeless outcast, met Jesus, and his life was changed forever.

This Gospel challenges each of us to ask: “How does my belief in Jesus change my life? Does friendship with Jesus change the way I think, speak, and act, or do the pressures and temptations of today’s society make me want to be like everybody else?

As Catholics we believe that life should be a partnership with Jesus. Baptism washes away sin and fills us with God’s life and love. We become children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, called to live in imitation of Jesus because he lives in us.

A friend in Colorado told me about an acquaintance on a business trip with two friends. One evening they asked them to join them at a bar and find some “girls.” He refused. They started to pressure him, and he said: “Look, I love my wife and I believe in Jesus. I am not going to hurt either one.” His reply so startled and shamed them that they stayed at the motel and watched football on TV!

That man made his decisions in partnership with Jesus, and was not afraid say so. He did not let the fear of possible ridicule shake him from love of his wife and Jesus. Today’s Gospel and the season of Lent, which begins this coming Wednesday, invite us to renew our relationship with Jesus. During Lent we should let Jesus, in the Sacrament of Penance, to cleanse us from the leprosy of sin. We should meet Jesus often in prayer, in Scripture, and especially in the Eucharist, because Jesus wants to change our lives ... forever!

Read last week's reflection.