A reading from the gospel according to Mark 1:40-45:
40 A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”
41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
42 The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
43 Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
44 Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
45 The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
The leper in the gospel above is one person who was too familiar with the problem of rejection. He lived a life in isolation and deprivation because society has become cruel and unjust. It was illegal for him and others like him to associate with others including his own family for fear of spreading the disease. That is why when he heard of Jesus, he felt a flicker of hope. At last there was light in the dark. So he mustered his courage and approached Jesus for healing. And healed he was. Imagine Jesus touching him when everybody was fearful of even getting near him!
Many of us experience rejection in more ways than one. Some people including friends, teachers, employers and even parents despise us for our looks, body shape, lack of skill, strange behavior and yes, illness. Some of them even turn bullies that make us wonder if we ever deserve to live.
Yet in the midst of rejection and deprivation, there is someone we can turn too. Worry no more because He will not reject us. He will readily embrace us. Whatever disease we have, physical, emotional or spiritual, He will accept us. His name is JESUS. Let us call on Him and He will listen and give us the healing we need.
For related reflection, go here.