Written by Sunnie Lain, Director of Conferences and Community Outreach.
SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
February 11, 2018
Gospel: (Mark 1: 40-45)
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I will do it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything…” But 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.
Jesus was “moved with pity”, and so he chose to heal the leper. And in spite of Jesus’ command to “tell no one anything,” Jesus knew that the leper would not be able to keep the good news of his healing quiet. And, yes, the leper does “publicize the whole matter.” Indeed, the leper proclaims the gospel. Perhaps Jesus healed the leper because he recognized one who would be a disciple and spread the good news. Jesus wished that the leper be made clean, he had the power to heal. But more important, his heart was filled with mercy. And Jesus was announced to all by this leper who became a disciple. Jesus’ commission to us is to tell everyone the good news-do we tell no one? (Living Liturgy, p.58)
“It’s not for everyone. It’s not for anyone. But being a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul—being a Vincentian—is for some. It is a special calling by God. A member of the Society puts his or her faith into action. The Vincentian vocation is the intimate desire to participate personally and directly in helping the needy by person-to-person contact and by the gift of one’s heart and friendship, doing so within the communal spirit of a Conference of lay persons each inspired by the same vocation. The Vincentian vocation may be expressed in many ways and with different shades of meaning. Practical translation of faith into action, meditating upon it and adapting it to our changing world is the very life of every Vincentian, the very life of the Society. (US Manual of the SVDP, p.54)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
How can we spread the “good news” of being a Vincentian?
O God, we stand in gratitude for our vocation to be a Vincentian,
-give us the grace to offer our heart and friendship to the poor.
May we have the desire to serve the needy by person-to-person contact,
-give us the grace to invite others to join the Society.
May we have the grace to put our faith into action, to meditate upon it, -and to adapt it to our changing world. Amen