Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
The marginalized people will save us
A leper came to him (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. Then 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. Mk 1,40-45
The figure of this leper causes us to ponder on the problem of the exclusion. I wonder why the society, the organizations and even the familiar contexts, at some point, to survive, feel the need to exclude certain people. It almost seems that removing certain individuals or certain categories, we try to remove all that which is evil, sick or deranged in us, so that, relegating it to the outside of our environment, we think to become better. Then, the outcast person is focused, on whom we download, and almost exorcised, all the evil in the society. We are talking about any marginalized: the aged, the disabled, the sick, the imprisoned, the stranger, the poor, all those with whom the Lord identifies himself: “I was hungry …, I was thirsty …., stranger…., naked …., ill…, in prison” (Mt 25,31-36). We must realize that it is just giving them food, drink, welcoming them and going to visit them, that the marginals people return to normal, and those who live within the perimeter of the normality can complete their journey of redemption. It is the social dynamic in which the wickedness and holiness alternate and intertweave, because the man, unlike all the other creatures, is mixed of good and evil. In the end, as it may seem incredible, the marginalized people will save us, as Jesus – the main marginalized – has saved, forgiven and redeemed us on the Calvary: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Mk 12,10). It is a wonderful mystery, in front of which every meditation becomes a prayer: “Liberate us, o Lord, from an easy, obvious, self-evident gospel. Liberate us from an elite gospel. Give us a poorer gospel, but shared”.