Voices ever ancient, ever new. Ordinary Time Week 1: Thursday

“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” (Mark 1:41)

In commenting upon these verses from today’s Mass Readings, Origen of Alexandria writes:

“And why did he touch him, since the law forbade the touching of a leper? He touched him to show that “all things are clean to the clean.” Because the filth that is in one person does not adhere to others, nor does external uncleanness defile the clean of heart. So he touches him in his untouchability, that he might instruct us in humility; that he might teach us that we should despise no one, or abhor them, or regard them as pitiable, because of some wound of their body or some blemish for which they might be called to render an account. So, stretching forth his hand to touch, the leprosy immediately departs. The hand of the Lord is found to have touched not a leper, but a body made clean! Let us consider here, beloved, if there be anyone here that has the taint of leprosy in his soul, or the contamination of guilt in his heart? If he has, instantly adoring God, let him say: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” (Fragments on Matthew, 2)

Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care,
O Lord, we pray,
that they may see what must be done
and gain strength to do what they have seen.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen!