Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B

Feb 12, 2024 | Reflections

Sunday’s readings remind us that if God grants us something we should show our gratitude by glorifying Him and doing the Divine Will;  not running off and ignoring his wishes.

In the first reading, we see the spiritual and social consequences of being diagnosed with leprosy are laid down for the people of Israel. In ancient times and in the time of Jesus lepers experienced two kinds of painful sufferings as a result of the dreaded disease, which is a bacterial infection (Hansen’s disease) and which caused a foul odour.  First there was the suffering from the disease itself and then the sense of being cut off from family and the community; people also believed that this disease was a punishment for one’s sins. Anyone who touched a leper was considered unclean according to the Jewish Law. Due to the disease being contagious, lepers lived outside the villages in remote places and could not approach people or participate in religious of social activities.

In the second reading St Paul reminds us that we should do everything for the glory of God. When we are obedient to the Commandments and authentic Magisterial Teaching, we give glory to God. We should also praise God for the wonders of Creation. It reminds me of the story of Hollywood actress, Catherine Hicks. She is best known for the hit show: ‘Seventh Heaven”. She is a faithful Catholic and talks about growing up in Arizona USA. The wild beauty of the landscape fascinated her. One of her favourite childhood memories was in seeing the magnificent sunsets.

She said: My father would take me out the back to look at those splashes of vibrant colour and he would say the Gloria. He told me to remember that this comes from God and said, it was an opportunity to give glory to God.  

Let’s never miss to opportunity to give the glory to God for the wonders of creation.

Promises of the Most Holy Rosary

In Sunday’s Gospel, a man who is full of leprosy came up and threw himself at the feet of Jesus. Kneeling, he said: If you want to, you can cure me. Jesus full of compassion for the man said: Of course I want to! Be cured! The man was cured instantly of the disease. This passage shows the faithful and confident prayer of a man begging for healing. He recognized that the Lord had the power to cure him, and we see Divine Mercy in action. Jesus then ordered him to show himself to the Priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses as evidence of his recovery and to say nothing to anyone about his healing. But unfortunately, the man did the opposite and didn’t glorify God as instructed. As a result, Jesus had to stay in country places where nobody lived.

Jesus always wants to heal us of our weaknesses and sins, and we can find Him above all the sacraments of the Church. Both Jesus and Mary are always faithful to their promises. This reminds me of a story. In the 1600s in Scotland, Catholics were persecuted. Priests and laity had to go into hiding or leave the country to avoid imprisonment and even death. One day a Bishop was walking from village to village in the mountains, dressed as a poor farmer to avoid capture. It was nighttime and in the distance he saw a light. As he approached across the snow covered mountains he could see that it was a poor cottage on the edge of the forest. He knocked and the family welcomed him, warmed him near their fire and prepared him some food. The Bishop didn’t know whether they were Catholics or not because he couldn’t see any religious symbols. But he sensed a sadness in the family. The mother then explained that in the back room lying on a bed of straw lay her father who was dying, and he refused to accept that he was dying. The Bishop asked to see him and the old man explained that he was a Catholic and that he had always recited the Rosary and had never failed for a single day since his First Holy Communion to ask Our Lady for the grace not to die without a Priest at his bedside to hear his Confession and to give him the Last Rites. 

Now sir, he said, do you think my Heavenly Mother will not hear my prayer. That is impossible, so I’m not going to die until a Priest comes to visit me.

Tears rolled down the Bishop’s face as he realized that he was the Lord’s and Our Lady’s faithful answer to the man’s humble and confident prayer.

God is always faithful and the Promises of the Holy Rosary are real. The seventh promise of the Holy Rosary is: 

Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and Lent is a time of more intense prayer, fasting and almsgivng in preparation for Easter. As we know muscles grow through exercise. The same is true of the virtues. There are three ways in which we can grow spiritually.

 1. Go to Confession regularly. In Confession, like the leper, we throw ourselves at the Lord’s feet and ask for mercy. Our Lord said to St Faustina: The greatest miracles happen in Confession. Through receiving this sacrament regularly we grow in humility and faith. 

2. Thank God every day without fail for the blessings he has given you and grow in a childlike dependence on the Lord. We should desire God’s Will and allow Jesus to act in us, removing the pebble of our own selfish will. Daily life will flow much better if we do this. 

3. Be the first one to say: sorry in conflicts. Jesus says: Blessed are the peacemakers. Try and build an atmosphere of peace and harmony around you.

I wish everyone a very fruitful and holy Lent. Please remember that prayer (E.g. the Holy Rosary), fasting and almsgiving are powerful weapons in the spiritual war raging in the world today. Soon the Immaculate Heart will triumph, but in the meantime let’s be vigilant and faithful soldiers of Our Lord and our Heavenly Mother and make this Lent a time of real growth. Please remember the Works of Mercy and to pray each day for the conversion of sinners.   Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!