Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 1: 40-45
The Dalai Lama said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if we can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” This weekend’s gospel is about Jesus helping people. He cures a man who has leprosy and tells him go and tell no one about this. I am amazed how over the course of many centuries our human characteristics haven’t really changed much. Even today it takes discipline to keep our excitement over something to ourselves. I think of a young couple and the time they find out they are expecting their first child. It is almost impossible to keep the fact hidden for a few weeks while they wait for confirmation and the knowledge that everyone is healthy. When I worked at Frito-Lay we used to say it wasn’t true until you heard it from a trailer driver. Don’t ask me why but somehow the rumors traveled with the “over the road drivers” and 90% of the time they knew the right answers. The gospel message today is not about keeping secrets but about keeping confidences. Can we wait to spread good news we hear or are we ready to spread it as soon as we are out of earshot of the person that told us? This confidence is not the confidence we can do something but the ability to be told confidential information and keep it confidential. Let us enter this Lenten season this week with appreciation of our priest and their vow of “The Seal of the Confessional.” It is our opportunity to ask for God’s forgiveness as we enter Lent and look for the ways to bring ourselves closer to Christ. Speaking of Lent, I recently read a bulletin from another church that asked their parishioners to think of a 1-1-1 PLAN for this year. The idea is one sin, one add on, and one give up. You concentrate on a sin that gets in the way of your relationship with God, one add on may be to go to a morning mass weekly or say the rosary daily or a 5 minute prayer time daily and the one give up may be something you enjoy or maybe giving up something like casual computer time or not taking part in gossip or criticism.