Monday of Week 5
Jesus allows people afflicted by sickness to touch Him, even lepers, who are shunned because of the fear of contagion. He shares His company and teaching with those whose sins make them social outcasts. ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor’, he says ‘but the sick’(Mark 2:17).
For Jesus, sin is a form of sickness. It moves His heart to be with the afflicted person, to reach out with acceptance, forgiveness and healing wisdom. Whether the sick respond to the doctor with co-operation or hostility, this does not affect Jesus’ commitment to be among those who need him.
Although He could have hidden or run away from those who wanted to kill Him, Jesus instead ‘set His face towards Jerusalem’ (Luke 9:51). His teaching by example in the Passion reached out to the many people around Him in need of wisdom and forgiveness. His compassionate mercy extended to the people who crucified Him, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’(Luke 23:34), and to the man dying beside Him, ‘Indeed I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise’(Luke 23:43). This desperate man was saved on Good Friday because of Jesus’ commitment to be among His enemies as a healer.
I thank our Saviour for always remaining with me in my spiritual blindness, to guide me back to the right path. The martyrs, like Paul Miki and companions whom we remember today, follow Jesus in His mission to witness to God’s indestructible love among those who need it most, regardless of the cost to themselves.
I pray today for the same courage, strength and trust in God to love my enemies as they did.