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A reading of 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.

REFLECTION: “If you wish, you can make me clean.”

What do Valentine's Day and leprosy have in common? Both can be put in the Divine perspective in the Song of Songs.

Song of Songs 2:10-12, 13b-14

My Lover speaks; he says to me, "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!"

"For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!

O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, Let me see you, let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, and you are lovely. "

On Valentines Day lovers present each other their external expression of love. Wine, dinner, roses, gifts and "I love you" cards. "Doing small things with love" was a favorite saying of Mother Teresa. Daily she encouraged her sisters to serve the most marginalized of society. They delivered their love by way of feeding, caring, giving the impoverished dignity and even a place to stay when their AIDS ravaged bodies were ready to die.

Do we have leprosy of heart? Do we have trouble coping with others? Are we separated from the "lepers" of the world and the suffering, deadening our reactions to their maladies or refusing to hold them in our arms?

The sisters are the reflection of God to others. If people do not see the reflection of God in us, we need to heal ourselves from any kind of leprosy that separates us from ourselves to others, ourselves from God.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.


PAPA Foundation
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