“Lord, you can heal me, if you will.”

Introduction

Many years ago, I remember using a short film with senior Religious Education classes. The film was titled “Parable” and it showed Jesus as a circus clown who is crucified by Magnus, the ringmaster. Upon realising what he has done, Magnus becomes the clown – he appears as the risen Saviour – and mounts the donkey, which had been ridden by Christ. 

Why do I mention this here? One of the ironies in the Gospel reading is in Jesus’ decision to heal the man, whose disease has isolated him from his community, leads to his own self-imposed isolation. And when you see the irony, look also at what happens to the community.

The Gospel

A man with a skin disease came to Jesus. He fell to his knees and begged Jesus, “You can heal me if you will.”

Jesus felt sorry for the man, so he reached out his hand and touched him and said, “I will. Be healed!” Immediately the disease left the man, and he was healed.

Jesus told the man to go away at once, but he warned him strongly, “Don’t tell anyone about this. But go and show yourself to the priest. And offer the gift Moses commanded for people who are made well. This will show the people what I have done.” The man left there, but he began to tell everyone that Jesus had healed him, and so he spread the news about Jesus. As a result, Jesus could not enter a town if people saw him. He stayed in places where nobody lived, but people came to him from everywhere. (Mark 1:40-45 – New Century Version)

The Enquiry 

See

  • What happens in this Gospel story? What are the elements of the story? 

  • Why does the man come to Jesus? Why does Jesus heal him? And why does he direct him to keep quiet about the miracle? 

  • Look at the consequences of the man’s actions and Jesus’ actions. Consider the ironies found in the Gospel.

Judge

  • What do you think about this event in the Gospel? Have you ever experienced ironies like those described in this Gospel?

  • What does your faith tell you about how Jesus is encountered in our world? How does this encounter in the Gospel help you to understand and appreciate the presence of Jesus in your life? 

  • Do the actions of the man after he had been healed reflect the ideal or the reality? Would you have obeyed Jesus’ command not to tell anyone? Or would you have imitated the man in the Gospel?  

Act

  • Everyone experiences the desire to be healed. What needs to change in our world for people to turn to Christ for healing? 

  • What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? When and where will you carry out the action and how often? 

  • Who can you involve in your action and how and when will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson 

Image source: https://stmichaellivermore.com/blog/life-full

A useful resource: https://sundayprep.org/mark-1-40-45/

And if you would like to view the film Parable:


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