- Attacks the skin
- Is caused by a bacterial infection.
- Slowly destroys sense of feeling
- Rots the flesh
- Victim looses extremities – Toes, Fingers, Ears, Nose, Hands, Feet, Arms and Legs
- Once caught, there was no cure.
- Victims were condemned to a life of isolation, loneliness, abandoned to become a disfigured cripple and were slowly eaten away until they died.
- Societies forced lepers to live in leper colonies.
- Cure invented in 1980
- So we don’t need to worry about today’s readings
Selfish Impulsive Neglect - SIN
We do suffer from another form of leprosy, a spiritual leprosy – it is called Selfish Impulsive Neglect – SIN.
- SIN is a spiritual infection that destroys our sense of conscience – right and wrong.
- SIN is a disease that reduces and diminishes our soul. It makes us less than God created us to be. It causes us to turn inward, to become isolated, and it causes our soul to become disfigured.
- SIN is contagious. When we witness others SIN it weakens our own desire for holiness, and makes us more likely to fall from temptation into SIN.
- SIN drives us into isolation, we go and hang out with other SINNERs where we slowly rot away until SIN is all we have left.
How do we deal with SIN?
- The Way
- Our Recognition
- Our Prayer
- Christ commands us to show ourselves to the priest (Confession)
- Mercy is universal – were not all healed?
- What is our response? Do we see it? When was the last time we went to confession?
- Do we take all the medicine, or just enough to keep limping along?
What happens when we get to the root of SIN?
1 Kings – Naaman
- Get rooted in God – Baptism Obliterates Sin
- It is the font that is living and effective in our life and is always leading us from Death to Life!
- Our response to this gift is Thanksgiving
- Elisha’s refusal leads Naaman to a deeper conversion
- He anchors himself in the Earth – Humility becomes the foundation of his faith.
What happens next?
- St. Paul discovers that there is a purpose to suffering
- Baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection invites us to share in the crucifixion.
- This Baptism invites us to share in the sufferings of Christ in our own life – to begin to imitate the love of Christ as we suffer – to intercede for those with Spiritual Leprosy
- The alternative is to deny Christ – that leads to death.
- Perseverance is the key to the Journey – Knowing that we are on the way.
- Mercy is the second key – that God is faithful and forgiving – even when we fail.
Today let us hear Christ – Stand up and God, your faith has saved you!