Posted on Feb 13, 2021

14 February 2021

On one of my January vacations I stayed with my two of my friends in a condo

that was attached to a health spa kind of place.

Mostly, it had a very large and well-equipped work out building.

One morning, instead of walking the mountain as I liked to do,

I went to the work out building and did some strength training.

As I am working on the curls machine,

two women come and stand right in front of me.

One of them begins to complain because her gardener has disappeared.

He’d been sent back to Mexico on a sweep the local sheriff was conducting.

“I’m glad they caught him,” she said.  “We had a meeting about these illegals,

they come here with no skills and well we’re just too good to them.

We can’t afford them or their children.”

Her friend went on, “It’s not just them you know, it’s the Pollacks too

who are coming here.  Do you know what they do? 

They send their money back to their relatives in Poland.

It’s ruining our economy. 

If they’re going to come here the least they could do would be to spend

their money here.”

I suppose my blood began to boil because they were talking about Pollacks.

But maybe it also began to boil because those two women forgot that their relatives

had also “come here with nothing.”

We so easily seem unable to put ourselves in another’s shoes.

Mother Theresa used to say that biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis,

but the disease of being unwanted.

Immigration is a huge problem.  I really don’t know what the solution is.

I do know that for a disciple of Jesus dealing with that issue or abortion or any issue,

is our call to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.

In the gospel today, Jesus doesn’t just “heal” the leper,

he touches him–literally, puts himself in the other persons skin by making himself “unclean.”

There is a second lesson in this gospel, very subtle.

The leper asks Jesus for the seeming impossible–to be cured.

Jesus asks the leper for the possible–not to say anything about it.

Of course Jesus grants the impossible, but the leper finds it impossible to do the possible.

I think Jesus asks each of us to enter the skin of someone else, especially those we judge harshly.

He tells us it is possible.

Question of the week: Why do you find it so impossible some times?