For centuries, as pope and emperor tore each other apart in their quarrels over power, the excluded went on living on the fringe, like lepers, of whom true lepers are only the illustration ordained by God to make us understand this wondrous parable, so that in saying 'lepers' we would understand 'outcast, poor, simple, excluded, uprooted from the countryside, humiliated in the cities.' But we did not understand; the mystery of leprosy has continued to haunt us because we have not recognized the nature of the sign.
The excluded when on living on the fringe, like lepers, of whom true leper are only the illustration ordained by god to make us understand this wondrous parable, so that in saying 'lepers' we would understand 'outcast, poor, simple, excluded, uprooted from the countryside, humiliated in the cities' but we did not understand; the mystery of leprosy has continued to haunt us because we have not recognized the nature of the sign. Excluded as they were from the flock, all of them were ready to hear, or to produce, every sermon that, harking back to the words of Christ, would condemn the behaviour of the dogs and shepherds and would promise their punishment one day. The powerful have always realised this. The recovery of the outcasts demanded a reduction of the privileges of the powerful, so the excluded who became aware of their exclusion had to be branded as heretics, whatever their doctrine. This is the illusion of heresy. Everyone is heretical, everyone is orthodox. The faith a movement proclaims doesn't count: what counts is the hope it offers.
I heard that someone asked Mother Teresa what was most important in her work. I thought she'd say the Rosary but she said, 'My nuns and I take very good care of ourselves so we can tend to the lepers and do whatever we need to assist.' If you're strong, or at least not hurting, you can inspire others.
When I was 17, I went to India for six weeks and had what, at the time, was a very challenging trip. You walk down the street and you see lepers and beggars, and there were several of us, a group of Americans. I remember we were just trying to park one night somewhere and people were just sleeping in the parking lot.
I feel no disgust when I hear the confessions of those near their end, whose wounds are full of maggots...This may give you some idea of my daily work. Picture to yourself a collection of huts with 800 Lepers. No doctor; in fact, as there is no cure, there seems no place for a doctor's skill.
I choose the poverty of our poor people. But I am grateful to receive it (the Nobel) in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.
In becoming a whole person, the grateful leper was healed inside as well as on the outside. That day nine lepers were healed skin deep, but only one had the faith to be made whole. The tenth leper [was] changed eternally by [his] faith in the Savior and the healing power of his atonement.
Merrill J. Bateman
I begin each day with holy Mass, receiving Jesus hidden under the appearance of a simple piece of bread. Then I go out into the streets and I find the same Jesus hidden in the dying destitute, the AIDS patients, the lepers, the abandoned children, the hungry, and the homeless. It's the same Jesus.
Lowe has broken from the Christianity of his parents, a faith that now seems hopelessly out of date. The meek shall no longer inherit the earth; the go-getters will get it and everything that goes with it. The Christ who went among the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, among lepers and prostitutes, really had no marketing savvy. He has been transfigured into a latter-day entrepreneur, the greatest superstar sales person of all time, who built a multinational outfit from scratch.
New York! The white prisons, the sidewalks swarming with maggots, the breadlines, the opium joints that are built like palaces, the kikes that are there, the lepers, the thugs, and above all, the ennui, the monotony of faces, streets, legs, houses, skyscrapers, meals, posters, jobs, crimes, loves... A whole city erected over a hollow pit of nothingness. Meaningless. Absolute meaningless.
The miracles of healing, important as they were, were not an end in themselves. They did not constitute the highest good of the messianic salvation. This fact is illustrated by the arrangement of the phrases in Matthew 11:4-5. Greater than deliverance of the blind and the lame, the lepers and the deaf, even than raising of the dead, was the preaching of the good news to the poor. This 'gospel' was the very presence of Jesus himself, and the joy and fellowship that he brought to the poor.
George Eldon Ladd
Too often we take blessings for granted, like the sun, the air, health, and opportunity. Or we accept favors, honors, and privileges day after day as did the lepers their newfound health, without a word of thanks. We would thank the person who gives us a seat in the bus, the person who offers a ride, the friend who picks up the check after dinner, the person who does the baby-sitting, or the boy who cuts our lawn, but do we express gratitude to Him who gives us all?
Spencer W. Kimball
Who wouldn't want to vote for a guy who was a peaceful, radical, non-violent revolutionary; who hung around with lepers, hookers, and crooks; who never spoke English; was not an American citizen; anti-capitalism; totally anti-death penalty; anti-public prayer (Matthew 6:5); but never once anti-gay; didn't mention abortion; and was a long-haired, brown-skinned, homeless, middle-eastern, Jew?
[Naaman] dipped himself," it says, "seven times in Jordan." It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: "Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Irenaeus of Lyons
But what had lasting significance were not the miracles themselves but Jesus' love. Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, and a few years later, Lazarus died again. Jesus healed the sick, but eventually caught some other disease. He fed the ten thousands, and the next day they were hungry again. But we remember his love. It wasn't that Jesus healed a leper but that he touched a leper, because no one touched lepers.
B-but, Mr Jimson, I w-want to be an artist.' 'Of course you do, ' I said, 'everybody does once. But they get over it, thank God, like the measles and the chickenpox. Go home and go to bed and take some hot lemonade and put on three blankets and sweat it out.' 'But Mr J-Jimson, there must be artists.' 'Yes, and lunatics and lepers, but why go and live in an asylum before you're sent for? If you find life a bit dull at home, ' I said, 'and want to amuse yourself, put a stick of dynamite in the kitchen fire, or shoot a policeman. Volunteer for a test pilot, or dive off Tower Bridge with five bob's worth of roman candles in each pocket. You'd get twice the fun at about one-tenth of the risk.
I thought that to get to know a desert it was enough to have been there. I thought that to have seen the dogs dying along the Cholula road, or to have seen the eyes of the lepers at Chiengmai gave me the right to talk about it. To have seen! To have been there! Rubbish! The world is not a book, it proves nothing. The spaces one has crossed were dark corridors with closed doors. The faces of the women to whom one gave oneself up completely: did they speak for anyone but themselves? The cities of man are secret. One walks along their streets, one sees them shine under one's feet, but one is not there, one never enters them. The dusty fields inhabited by people who are hungry, who wait patiently, are paradises of luxury and nourishment; shining at a vast distance from intelligence, at a vast distance from reason. They are not to be subjugated.
Jean-Marie G. Le Clezio
Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today.
There are people who are destined to taste only the poison in things, for whom any surprise is a painful surprise and any experience a new occasion for torture. if someone were to say to me that such suffering has subjective reasons, related to the individual's particular makeup, i would then ask; is there an objective criterion for evaluating suffering? who can say with precision that my neighbor suffers more than i do or that jesus suffered more than all of us? there is no objective standard because suffering cannot be measured according to the external stimulation or local irritation of the organism, but only as it is felt and reflected in consciousness. alas, from this point of view, any hierarchy is out of the question. each person remains with his own suffering, which he believes absolute and unlimited. how much would we diminish our own personal suffering if we were to compare it to all the world's sufferings until now, to the most horrifying agonies and the most complicated tortures, the mostcruel deaths and the most painful betrayals, all the lepers, all those burned alive or starved to death? nobody is comforted in his sufferings by the thought that we are all mortals, nor does anybody who suffers really find comfort in the past or present suffering of others. because in this organically insufficient and fragmentary world, the individual is set to live fully, wishing to make of his own existence an absolute.