Be made clean

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Yr B

In today’s Gospel, we will meet again with someone who is sick. Leprosy is very contagious, and in those times, there was no cure for it. Whoever was sick with leprosy had to leave all that he owned, his family, his work, and friends, and go to leave outside the village. No one could go near. It was a devastating illness, and it was also very painful. Presently we are passing through a time, which makes this reading more understandable. The COVID 19 pandemic is creating loneliness, people living alone, people dying on their own, we long for physical closeness of family and friends and it seems that hugs have become things of the past. We can imagine how this man felt, when Jesus not only approached him but also stopped to talk to him and to touch him. 

Jesus heals this man and he sends him to show himself to the priest as the law of Moses prescribed. Jesus asks him to tell no one about the healing. Yet, this man is so astounded and happy with what Jesus did that he could not keep this to himself and so he told everyone he met about what had happened.

We learn several things about life and the Christian attitudes from this reading. First and foremost, we cannot just be nominal Christians. We need to act. Jesus’ reply, “I do” shows that we too must make a choice. If we decide to follow Jesus, our life must reflect this choice. Like Jesus we need to show mercy, we need to choose what is right, even if this is not easy. We must do God’s will, even when we do not understand it. At face value, there was nothing wrong with the man telling everyone about his healing, even though it went against Jesus’ wish. But due to this, Jesus had to stay away from the cities, where he had planned to go and teach.

Jesus shows us that to pity someone, is not enough. We are expected to act upon it. We cannot remain passive when confronted by the needs and pain of others. It is distressing to look at someone with leprosy. But Jesus does not turn away, instead, he also goes near him. Jesus is so close that he touches him, he talks to him and he heals him. This is what we are expected to do, with those whom we can help.

There is also another side to this Gospel. Sin is a spiritual sickness. We all have this sickness. However, Jesus shows us, that whatever we have done, no matter how grave, he is ready to come close to us, he will not mind touching us. Yet like the leper, we have to make the first move. In faith, we need to turn to Jesus and say, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”

A reading from the Gospel of Mark (Mk 1, 40-45)

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. 

He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. During this coming week, try to be more conscious of the decisions you take. What will you choose? Will you choose to love, to help, or will you ignore?
  4. Leprosy was weighing down this man. What is weighing you down? It could be a sin you keep repeating and cannot get rid of, or something which you are still carrying with you from the past. Open your heart to Jesus, let him come close to you, to touch you and to heal you.
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Mark (1, 40-45);
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with green cloth
    iv. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family

In today’s Gospel we are going to hear about a man who had a very contagious disease and people could not go near him. However, Jesus is not like the rest of the people, he goes near him, he talks to him, he touches him, and he heals him.

Enjoy the videos and music that you love, upload original content and share it all with friends, family and the world on YouTube.
  • Jesus’ love is very powerful
  • Jesus wants to heal everyone
  • Heart printout
  • Band aids
  • Pencils
  • Colours and decorations

The man in the Gospel is very sick and he cannot get better. In those times, there was no medicine for this type of illness. It was a contagious sickness, so no one was allowed to go near him, or else, he too, would become sick. For this reason, lepers, like this man, had to live on their own, away from their families and friends. 

How do you think this man felt?

Do you remember what Jesus did when he saw this man? (Jesus had pity on him and he healed him)

How do you think the man felt, now that he was healed?

When Jesus healed this man, he wanted to teach us and to show us that he loves us and he does not want us to be alone, sick or sad. Jesus heals this man. So, Jesus is much more powerful than this disease. Jesus heals this man because he loved him. Jesus wants to help every person who is facing some kind of ilness or trouble in life. Jesus is always present with those who are suffering.

We are going to pray to Jesus so that he may give strenght and healing to the people we know who are sick. You have a heart with the words Jesus heals on it. Colour the words. With your parents’ help, on the band aids, write the names of those you wish to pray for. Stick these band aids on the heart. We will use this heart in today’s prayer. Afterwards put it in the container you did last week. Whenever you pass by, you will remember and pray for these people again.

We are so lucky to be loved by Jesus. While doing this activity, listen to, Jump around.

Do you know that today it is Valentine’s Day? Did you see all the shops with big red hearts? People buy these and buy cards, to give to those they love. You too have a heart. Colour it and decorate it as you wish. On it, write the name of the person you are going to give it to. You may give mummy and daddy one. Who else will you give a heart to show that you love them? (note to parents, there are also small hearts. The big one is for the children. Use these small ones to give to the children)

Sign of the cross.

Jesus, we know that you love everyone, and you do not want people to be sad because they are sick. Today we want to pray for (allow the children time to mention the names they wrote on the band aids).

Thank you, Jesus, for all those people who love us. Thank you for (everyone mentions those people who love them). We also want to pray for those children who feel unloved. Thank you, Jesus. 

Last week we saw Jesus healing Simon’s mother-in-law. Today, Jesus meets someone else who is sick. Although this man has a terrible disease, he believed that Jesus could heal him.

Enjoy the videos and music that you love, upload original content and share it all with friends, family and the world on YouTube.
  • Love is contagious
  • When we love others, we would be showing them how much Jesus loves them

  • Blank papers
  • Pencils and colours
  • Heart printouts 

Do you know what contagious means? It is like Corona Virus; this too is contagious. So, we put on masks, we are careful where we go, what we touch and with whom we meet. We do this to take care of ourselves and of others. In Jesus’ time, leprosy was a terrible sickness, because they had no cure for it. Whoever had leprosy, went to live on his own or with other lepers, far away from the other people.

Jesus was not afraid. He went near this man, and he also touched him. Surely, as soon as Jesus touched him, this man felt loved. Just imagine how he felt, after all that time without anyone touching him! So, this man, not only felt Jesus’ touch but he also felt Jesus’ love. 

Illness is not the only thing which is contagious. Even love can be contagious! When we feel loved, it is easier for us to love back and to love others. So, like Jesus, we too can touch people in two ways. Jesus touched his man and showed him that he loved him, and his touch also healed him. We can touch others to help them, we can also touch them to hug them and show them that we love them. Because of Corona Virus we cannot hug others as much as we would like to do. We need to come up with other ways to show our love. 

How can we show our grandparents that we love them?

How can we show sick friends that we love them?

How can we show people, whom we do not even know, that we love them? People who are sick, poor, or feel unloved? (we pray for them; we give money if need be. When we can once again meet without restrictions, we will find other ways to show our love)

When we show love, when we help others, we would be expressing Jesus’ love for them. Similarly, Jesus shows his love for us, through others. Draw the outline of your hand on one of the papers. Stop and think. During these last few days, how did Jesus touch you? (through the love and help received, nice comforting words someone told you). Write or draw what you thought about, on the handprint. (note to parents: you may do this activity with the children. Even if you do not do the handprint, think of how Jesus touched and loved you, during these last days)

Let us not forget, the special way Jesus touches us in the sacrament of confession. Sin is an illness too, and Jesus heals us from this sickness.

It is Valentine’s Day today! The day of those who love! Take one of the hearts, and on it write “I love you” and write the name of the person you will be giving it to. You may decorate the heart, and do more than one, for your parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents. However, to love, is not just words. You also need to show love in what you do. Think of how, today, you will show love to those around you.

Sign of the cross.

Thank you, Jesus, you heal me with your love. I want to thank you for all those who love me. I want to pray for those who are sick or feel alone like that man in today’s Gospel (allow time for all to think about these people: children at school who have no friends, old people living on their own and no one visits them, prisoners, refugees).

Jesus you want to heal our spiritual and physical sickness. We pray, that like the leper, we have faith in you. 

Listen to, and sing, Jesus is the healer.

1. Today's Gospel narrates that Jesus encountered a person who was afflicted by...

Correct! Wrong!

2. The leper encountered Jesus and said to him...

Correct! Wrong!

3. After having healed him, Jesus gave an order to the man. What did Jesus tell him to do?

Correct! Wrong!

4. What did the man do?

Correct! Wrong!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.