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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time [B]

By: John Bucki, S.J.

Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
1 Corinthians 10:31--11:1
Mark 1:40-45

February 14: Valentine's Day
February 20: Presidents Day observed in U.S.

The solidarity which binds all people together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist.
John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, #157

How can it be that even today there are still people dying of hunger? Condemned to illiteracy? Lacking the most basic medical care? Without a roof over their heads? . . . Christians must learn to make their act of faith in Christ by discerning His voice in the cry for help that rises from this world of poverty.
John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, no. 50

. . . We must come to grips with the first of these challenges: solidarity among generations, solidarity between countries and entire continents, so that all human beings may share more equitably in the riches of our planet. This is one of the essential services that people of good will must render to humanity. The earth, in fact, can produce enough to nourish all its inhabitants, on the condition that the rich countries do not keep for themselves what belongs to all.
Pope Benedict XVI, June 16, 2005

Thoughts for Your Consideration
The first reading reminds us of the social effects of a disease like leprosy in biblical times and even today. In the gospel, the healing work of Jesus not only cures the person, but also allows him to reenter the community. Human solidarity is restored. Relationship with the community is healed.

Solidarity is one of the key values in Catholic Social Teaching. So many things in our contemporary world prevent solidarity. Today's readings invite us to reflect on many of the issues that divide our world and its people: racism, economic inequalities, international debt, lack of access of medical treatments, militarism, terrorism, discrimination against women, political divisions, etc. etc.

We can learn from Paul in the second reading who strives "for the benefit of the many."

Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

When have you observed or been part of a group of people being "left out" because of some form of discrimination? Have you experienced some healing of this division?

In the gospel Jesus heals the person who is ill. He cleanses. He "absolves." How would you describe the cleansing or absolving or healing that is needed in our social situation today?

Actions - Links
A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration from the Catholic Bishops of Mexico and the United States was published in 2003. It can be found at An excerpt from the Pastoral Letter:

In solidarity, we will continue to advocate on your behalf for just and fair migration policies. We commit ourselves to animate communities of Christ's disciples on both sides of the border so that yours is a journey of hope, not despairí¢â‚¬Â¦..

"You Welcomed Me," a Pastoral Letter by the Catholic Bishops of Arizona, is at

Various resources for celebrating Black History Month can be found at the Catholic Relief Services web site at:

Prayer - Meditation
Grant us, Gracious God, a vision of our land as your love would make it:

- a land where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor
- a land where the benefits of civilized life are shared, and everyone can enjoy them
- a land where different races and cultures live in tolerance and mutual respect
- a land where our resources are directed toward human needs

- a land where there is no more war or preparation for war
- a land where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.

Type of content: Lectionary Reflections