Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario

Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 11, 2024

All three readings today teach us we are called to become pure and holy, like Jesus Christ. We become holy by receiving the Sacraments constantly, especially the Eucharist. Also, we become holy by confessing our sins to God, by offering our lives for God’s glory and by sharing God’s love with everyone around us without discriminating against anyone based on color, race, culture, religion, lifestyle or social status.

The first reading from the Book of Leviticus teaches the theme of freedom from bodily and ritual impurity as a sign of internal holiness. This freedom is symbolized by the precautions against getting leprosy and by the healing of the man with leprosy described in the Gospel. Also, this reading shows the ancient Jewish attitude toward leprosy and gives the rules for the segregation of lepers. This reading provides a background for Jesus’ healing of the leper in the Gospel.

In today’s second reading, St. Paul exhorts us to become holy by doing “everything for the glory of God” and by showing sensitivity and respect toward others. Also, Paul invites us to imitate him as he imitates Christ. Saint Paul, as well as all the Saints we have in our Church, teaches us how we can live our lives imitating Christ every day. The saints are excellent role models for us to imitate to reach holiness.

Today’s Gospel describes how Jesus heals a leper, who approaches Him in humility saying: “if you choose, you can make me clean”. Jesus, moving with pity and mercy toward him, says: “be clean”. The healing we see of Jesus today in the Gospel is internally and externally. Jesus is liberating the leper from the disease of leprosy and from the unjust, inhuman social, ritual, and religious isolation and exclusion to which lepers were subjected in those days.

This Sunday’s readings invite us to trust in the mercy of a forgiving God who assures us that our sins are forgiven and that we get clean integrally. We are forgiven and made spiritually clean from the spiritual leprosy of sins when we repent of our sins and go to the Sacrament of confession. The only condition required for going to the Sacrament of confession is to have a repented heart to receive the absolution of sins from God. In addition, it is important to make a good examen of conscience before the Sacrament to experience fully the spiritual healing of Jesus through that Sacrament.

Also, it is important to tear down the walls that separate us from others and build bridges of loving relationship. Jesus calls every one of us to demolish the walls that separate us from each other, to welcome the outcasts and the untouchables of our society. These include sick people with chronic illnesses, the mentally ill, the homeless, the alcoholics, drug addicts, and the marginalized groups in our society. God’s loving hand must reach out to them through us, so that they have an encounter with Him to have a new life. Jesus wants us to touch the lives of those people to make them clean.

Brothers and Sisters, let us re-examine our hearts and remove the barriers we have created with others and approach God with a heart that is ready to welcome the outcasts in our society. Amen

Peace be with You!