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Reach Out And Touch Someone

Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched Him
Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46; Psalm 32:1-2,5,11; I Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45

Sermon Week Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 1:41

As a perfect fit for today's Lesson, a popular magazine once published a little poem on the healing power of touch. It goes something like this . . .

In a world where bad deeds are celebrated
And good ones relegated
to page 49 of the paper,

Where first place goes to push and shove
and the cost of things is put above
the cost of time together,

Isn't it wonderful that from time to time,
the best of us
reach out and touch the rest of us? -1

A woman named Marcia could have easily inspired that poet with her very personal reflection of a "touching" moment she experienced with her grandmother. . .

"Now you've come," my grandmother whispered weakly from her bed. Just the night before we had brought her to this nursing home because it now took several people to move her large-boned, crippled body. Her complexion looked pasty in the morning light, and her colorless hair was wispy against her pillow. Grandma, always so active, always doing for others. Now her hands lay limp on the sheets -- hands which once served heaps of potatoes and chicken on blue willow plates, kneaded bread, patched overalls, gathered eggs, churned butter.

As I shoved my hands into the pockets of my coat I felt helpless and awkward, not knowing what to do or say.

Several days later I went to the doctor for a routine treatment. My three-year-old son stood wide-mouthed with fear and concern as we waited. "Don't worry," I reassured him, "I'm all right."

Then he took my hand and held it quietly in his two small ones. My heart flooded with warmth and thankfulness. And suddenly, with my little boy still holding my hand, I knew what I would do the very next time I visited my grandmother.-2

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus confronts a man who was afflicted with leprosy and in desperate need of a healing touch. He says to Jesus, "'If you want to, you can cure Me.' Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him. 'Of course [...]

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