1 John 5:5-13
During the Christmas season, we focus on the mystery of God becoming human. One of the great truths is that Jesus completely identified with us by sharing our humanity. On Sunday the Scriptures will touch on this theme again as we see Jesus baptized standing shoulder to shoulder with common ordinary sinners. In today’s Gospel regarding the leper, Jesus associates and identifies himself with the man fully by touching him and thus becoming unclean.
I remember when I was in Jr. High there was a young man who had a red birth mark that covered the entire left side of his face. Kids can be cruel and some called him "Jupiter." Jupiter, you will remember, has a bright red spot on its surface. This student lived a lonely life. No one wanted to sit with him at lunch or be identified as his friend. To do so would mean that you could face being ostracized.
By touching this leper, Jesus identified and associated himself with someone who was outcast and unclean. This is one of the meanings of Christmas: God became flesh in order to identify with us. Not only that, but in the incarnation, we are able to touch God and associate with him. Emmanuel means "God with us." No longer are we lonely outcasts or unclean. Christmas proclaims that God immerses himself in our situation and becomes one with us. God became fully human to touch our experience and ennoble our humanity.
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P. is a missionary preacher, author of 13 books and creator of the TV program Live with Passion! airing in many cities. You can learn more about his ministry at: http://www.frcedric.org/