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Healing of the leper

As is clear from the instructions we heard in the first reading Leprosy was believed to make you unclean you had to be cast out of the community. Anyone who touched you became unclean too. It is therefore important to note that Jesus touches the man with Leprosy. He doesn't have to but he does and because others hear that he has touched him Jesus is considered unclean and has to stay away from the places where people lived. Part of Jesus' cure of the Leper is to become like a leper himself. Surely in this Gospel is a prophesy of how Jesus will save us from sin and its consequence eternal death, by taking our sin on himself and dying on the cross.

Lent

Lent begins on Wednesday. It is traditional to give something up and I encourage that. It is a useful reminder that we are in a time of preparation a time of both repenting our sins and deepening our love. But don't forget the three really important foundations of a good Lent. Prayer, Fasting and Alms Giving. Think seriously over the next couple of days. What, with God's help, would be a good way to deepen my prayer life. How can being in the presence of God, listening to God and speaking to God become more a part of my life. The Rosary, daily Mass, scripture reading, just 15 minutes in the morning with a prayer book, grace before and after meals, the angelus, visits to church. Let us each choose something.

Maybe if we are really making the effort for the first time it would be helpful to combine prayer and fasting and almsgiving. Give up lunch each Wednesday during Lent, say a rosary during the 20 minutes you would spend preparing and eating Lunch and give the money you save, 50p and ?1, ?3 whatever to a charity that helps the poor.

Fasting. Going without food. Maybe just one meal a week. It can help prayer, we are doing something Jesus did, if we feel hungry we walk just a few steps in the shoes of those who have nothing and the longing for food can remind us how much we should long for God. Again with God's help can we plan to fast during lent? Finally almsgiving. Charity. According to our means each of us can share something with those who have very little, remembering always Jesus telling us that what we do to others we do to him.

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