In today's Gospel reading from Mark 1, Jesus heals a leper. The man comes and begs Jesus to heal him. Jesus says, "Be made clean." The man is instantly cured.
I want to reflect today on what's happened in the world this past year. I believe that COVID has become the new leprosy. Not that there are similarities between the two diseases, but in the way people look at one another now. In the ancient world, people kept their distance from lepers. In fact, lepers had to yell "Unclean!" so that others would be warned of their presence and stay away from them.
I'm afraid that many now look at every other human as a leper. They view everyone with suspicion, assuming that they are germ-carrying monsters. This, I believe, is perhaps the greatest evil that has come of the past year. COVID is real. And so is the fear mongering that has accompanied it. Don't fall for it.
Father, help us not to view others as lepers. May our humanity return soon. Amen.