Marginalized No More!

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A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 

Matthew 8:2-3

Lepers in Bible times were marginalized people.  They were shunned and removed from society, made to feel ashamed – socially, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  This marginalization was to protect others – reduce the risk of infection to healthy people, even if this “safety net” caused lepers to be treated harshly by members of society.

Jesus didn’t play by the rules set in place by the leaders of the day, however.  Not only did He approach this “less than” person, He actually touched Him.  We know that His touch healed this man, but it also sent a very clear message to the people watching.

Pope Francis, in a homily to new cardinals, defined this message by saying that as Christ followers we are “to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is emarginated, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith; to see the Lord in who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper – whether in body or soul – who encounters discrimination!”

You and I may never encounter a person with leprosy.  But we will encounter people who have been marginalized by a society that places value judgments on differences between people.  We will encounter people who have come to believe that they are seen as less than others for a multitude of reasons.

Jesus didn’t show us that example.  He didn’t assign more value to healthy members of society than He did to those who are unhealthy.  He didn’t assign value to people based on color or gender or their position in society.  He reached out to the hurting, the rejected, the overlooked, the shunned, the sick, the lame, the mentally tormented and touched them, displaying the value He places on them.

Pope Francis ends his homily with this admonition:

“We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized!”   

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Father, the way Jesus touched this man is beautiful.  Help me, as Your child be willing to do no less.  Open my eyes to see the people who need a touch from You and may that touch come from me.  Open the eyes of all who are Christ followers to see and hear and touch the marginalized, in Jesus’ name, amen. 

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.

 

pic credit:  lookandlearn.com

pic credit: enwikipedia.com

3 thoughts on “Marginalized No More!

  1. Diane,

    Until recently—about a year ago, my husband Jerry actively was “out among them.” His heart is for the “down and outs,” the homeless, the hopeless.

    Now, since he was told he had leukemia, which, thank God!, is now in remission, and he is now receiving treatment for the melanoma on the side of his head, which, again—thank God!, is reducing, he and I together do a blog, which is intended to be an extension of his street ministry: thebeencouragedblog.wordpress.com He is not computer literate, lol, so he dictates to me, I edit, illustrate with images, and publish his posts.

    Blessings,
    Cindy
    diybohemian.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cindy, you stay busy don’t you?! I checked out your joint blog and I am excited to get to delve into it. I am so glad the melanoma is reducing. Thanks again for stopping. Wish we could do this over a cup of tea!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Diane.
        Thanks so much for subscribing to The Be Encouraged Blog! We need to get another post going. 🙂
        Cindy
        creator of diybohemian.com

        Lol. P.S. As you see, I’m commenting as me this time! I changed the photo and name on the profile, but the email is still Jerry’s. But, at least, it’s my pic and name when comment! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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