We have two teachers today. The first teacher is Jesus. The second teacher is the leper.

What does Jesus teach us today? Very simply, it is this: Jesus says it is not enough to love from a distance. With Jesus, there is no such thing as a long-distance love relationship. He wanted to show His love for the leper and He did not say, “Leper, I love you,” one kilometer away. He went close to the leper, touched the leper, and said, “Be healed.” For Jesus, there is no such thing as loving from a distance. In the same way that the Lord teaches us with his actions, he also shows His love for us by coming down from heaven, taking human flesh and living in our midst.

Who are the people we love? We say we love them, but are we willing to spend time with them? Are we willing to break that distance that sets us apart? Are we willing to destroy the walls that separate us from those we love? It is not enough to love from a distance. We must love at close range and show it.

What does the leper teach us? The leper teaches us that it is not right to keep quiet when we are suffering. The leper was suffering and by law, he must keep quiet. He must only talk when people approach him. In order to warn people, he was supposed to shout out, “Unclean! Unclean!” so that people would not approach him. This leper was suffering not only from leprosy but even more from isolation. He was a person in need and he did not just suffer quietly, like an oyster who closes in. He shouted out and said, “Lord, heal me! I am suffering!” We all know what suffering is and we all know what secret suffering is. We all know the pain of suffering in silence, not wanting to share it with people who are ready to carry our sufferings for us and with us.

Jesus teaches us today, it is not enough to love from a distance. The leper teaches us today that it is not necessary to suffer in silence.

Mk. 1:40-45
Love Like Jesus

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