Uncontainable Joy & Keeping Secrets: 3 Thought Experiments

by Faith & Life, Gospels

Father Ian VanHeusen presents a Catholic Bible Study and spiritual exercise on the Gospel reading from Mark 1:40-45, when Jesus cleanses the leper and His reputation for miracles and wonders begins to spread near and far.

We invite you to watch Father’s video, then prayerfully read the Gospel and reflection. We pray that this might help you in your apostolate, your family, your classroom, or personally… to prepare for and more deeply experience Sunday’s Mass, and to better integrate the Sacrament and the readings into your daily life.

3 Thought Experiments Using Mark 1:40

1. Discretion and patience.

Meditate on a situation in your life that calls for discretion and patience. If nothing obvious comes to mind, pray to be ready for such an occasion. Are you too quick to publicize things – good news, bad news, even just your opinions? Jesus asks the leper to keep the cleansing secret. Ask the Lord to give you the strength to hold some things in the silence of your heart, to pray and wait.

2. Relate to the leper.

Meditate on how and when you are like the leper. We naturally want to share good things… are you like that with your faith? The Leper has been set free, his heart is filled with Joy at the powerful things that our Lord has done for him. He’s disobedient, but it’s hard to blame him, in a way. The joy is so contagious. When and where do you share your joy in your relationship with the Lord?

3. Consider your own life.

Maybe we all have a situation in our life where we have to hold onto some good news. Have you ever been in such a position? Think and pray about your own tendencies – are you too private, or too public? Do you make time and space both for an interior life of faith, and – on the flip side – do you push out of your comfort zone to draw others to Christ, when appropriate?

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (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


Follow Fr. VanHeusen at http://ianvanheusen.com


Photo credit: Francisco Moreno / Unsplash

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