Lv 13:1-2. 44-46
1 Cor 10:31—11:1
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“I do will it. Be made clean.”
Jesus healed the lepers, who were outcasts to their community, as the first reading makes clear. The healing demonstrates two key lessons that relate to the Church’s stand on life.
First, Jesus is always on the side of human life. His healing of some represents his liberation of all from the power of sin and death. Ultimately, the healings described in the Gospels point to the overthrow of the entire kingdom of death, and the final triumph of life. Christ is life, and to stand with him is to stand with life and against whatever destroys it.
Second, the Lord always broke down false barriers between different classes of human beings. He saw their humanity, and the image of God inscribed on them from creation. This image is not obscured by the false distinctions people make by their prejudice or by the customs that deny the equal dignity of all people. The Lord’s determination to eliminate false barriers is seen in many other ways in the Gospels. We see Him reach out to children despite the efforts of the apostles to keep them away (Matthew 19:13-15); to tax collectors and sinners despite the objections of the Scribes (Mark 2:16); to the blind despite the warnings of the crowd (Matthew 20:29-34); to a foreign woman despite the utter surprise of the disciples and of the woman herself (John 4:9, 27); to Gentiles despite the anger of the Jews (Matthew 21:41-46); and to the lepers, despite their isolation from the rest of society (Luke 17:11-19).
When it comes to human dignity, Christ erases distinctions. St. Paul declares, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave or free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
We can likewise say, "There is neither born nor unborn." Using this distinction as a basis for the value of life or the protection one deserves is meaningless and offensive to all that Scripture teaches. The unborn are the segment of our society which is most neglected and discriminated against. Christ Himself surely has a special love for them.