People Outcast. God Recasts. | Word from the Shepherd No. 119 | 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Lev.13:1-2,44-46; 1 Cor.10:31 – 11:1 ; Mk.1:40-45

Out there is a world of the faceless, the forgotten and the feared. They are the outcast or sometimes referred to as the outsiders. This is their experience. This is what some of them say:

“We live in a world where smart people are called nerds and social outcasts; and stupid people are the cool ones.”

“They term us pariah, a person without status, a reject of society.”

“The family hates me. My friends won’t talk to me. At least I don’t have to attend church anymore.”

“Everybody feels like an outcast because the world is so large and every fingerprint is so vastly different from one another. And yet we have these standards and beliefs, and dogmatic systems of judgement and ranking, in almost all the societies of the world.”

Generally they are the lepers in the scriptures, not wanted, rejected, bullied or victimised. They are viewed as unfit or misfit. They are labelled or branded. Many suffer from depression, loneliness, being looked down and being treated as second class citizens. Most often, they end up as scapegoats in unjust situations.
In India, the caste system that creates the untouchables.
In Europe, strict traditions institutionalise the mentally disordered and ill. The victimising and scapegoating of the minorities, the natives and the indigenous ostracise and divides modern society.
Over here, the “so-called social contract” justifies the privileged and the unprivileged divide; and the perpetuation of “ketuanan” and the “pendatangs”.
But society will continue to divide and rule along many lines, even where they are no lines. The dividing lines separate people by birth, male and female; taboos; caste and class; code, creed or cult; normals and LGBTs; the nerds and the cool; the churchy and un-churchy; and the citizens and migrants and refugees.

Today we have a leper who defied the protocol, the rules and social norms. He approached Jesus, not move away as was expected. This is the message for us, the outcast. The Lord has these to say:

  1. The Lord awaits us the leper or the outcasts to approach.
  2. The Lord sees the beloved of God beyond their uncleannesses, physical and spiritual.
  3. The Lord welcomes and includes all especially the outcasts.
  4. The Lord says, “of course, I want to cure you, to heal you and restore you into the family”.

Again the Gospel resounds in the Migrant Sunday 2018 message of Pope Francis “Welcome. Protect. Promote. Integrate”.

To the outcast, the scripture says: Be like the leper. Come to God. Let go the ‘cannots ‘ and many ‘do nots’ that your baggages. Believe in the God who wants to free and restore you.
But there are the outcasts who have had an impact on the world. Being on the outside or at the fringe, they saw things differently, envision things that nobody thought possible, and spoke their own mind without being clouded by other people’s opinions.

To those who have been saved, met the Lord and the blessed: Never do anything offensive. Whatever you do, glorify God. Be helpful to every one. Welcome, Protect, Promote & Integrate everyone into our circle.