In Mark’s Gospel, as elsewhere, we hear Jesus refer quite often to the human heart. One such passage we read during Mass earlier this week when Jesus quoted the Prophet Isaiah: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.
Later in the same Chapter 7 Jesus says: But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a leper. We can easily limit our insight here to Jesus’ capacity to work miracles, to cure the sick. But there is something far greater being revealed. Jesus, in healing the body, is also expressing his great desire to make each person “whole”. His very presence in the world, His very presence in any (and every) human life is an expression of the “in-breaking” of God’s Kingdom.
Jesus desire to make us “whole” expresses His desire that our lives be an “expressed integrity” of faith. Jesus clearly wants to heal our hearts, even more than our bodies. He wants the desires of our hearts to be compatible with the way we live our lives. Jesus longs for our will to be the will of the Father. Jesus’ longs to strengthen us in such integrity and wholeness, and thus to strengthen us in holiness.
With so much attention rightfully being given to the HHS Mandate of the Obama Administration, we can use the area of human sexuality as a perfect example of such integration. Since we believe in the dignity and sanctity of the human person, then we are called to ‘connect the dots’ to see that the same dignity and sanctity accompanies the human act of love that conceives human life. We are called to bring this ‘integrated understanding’ to the belief that the ‘sacred sanctuary’ of the womb which nurtures and nourishes this newly conceived human life is also a place filled with the same dignity and sanctity.
May the people of this day and age grow in a proper understanding of the human person. May we be open to receive the Gospel Truth of Jesus who instills such wisdom in all of us. May we be open to the grace to eliminate any duplicity between faith and action in our lives. May we live, and worship, with our hearts united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.