Reflection for February 15th, 2015 by Louise Lafond
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jamie’s very recent request to do this weekend’s reflection could not have come at a better time for me as I just started my first placement as a student nurse. Yes, Holy Spirit, I am hearing you loud and clear!
It is hard from a 21st Century health perspective to understand what is truly going on in Leviticus. “Outside the camp” is the 7th Century BCE equivalent to a negative pressure isolation room that tries to prevent anyone else from becoming infected. The Israelites knew that they had no clue how to prevent the spread of infection and their only option was isolation. This does not mean that they did not care, but were powerless to help. This is shown in God’s punishment of Miriam1, Moses’ sister, who was made leprous and was forced outside the camp for seven days “…and the people did not set out on the march until Miriam had been brought in again.”
How then do we, as Paul asks us, not to cause anyone to stumble but to find the good of the many by following the example of Jesus? Tall order, as I, unlike Jesus, have not cured anyone by touching them and saying “Be clean!”
So, in this run up to Lent, what is my best offer to you who, like me, seek to serve and be like Jesus?
My modest proposal is twofold: One is aimed at all of us and the other is for the more tech savvy (or those who know someone who is tech savvy).
1. Look beyond the ribbons, whatever worthy colour they are, and learn about the people who suffer from an illness and how it affects their lives. For example: A great illness for study is schizophrenia – a devastating psychiatric illness that tends to strike adolescents and young adults. Discover the mechanisms in society that cause them to stumble, for example – the criminal courts, and work to end their isolation “outside the camp.”
2. For the tech savvy, I urge you to donate your computer time to the World Community Grid. Developed by University of California at Berkley, “World Community Grid is a simple way to support cutting-edge research into important global humanitarian causes.”2 As I was writing this reflection, my computer was working on cancer markers and genomes. This option is great for the many of us who do not have a lot of time to donate, but our computers are always sitting around.
Let us be like Jesus and do more of the doing rather than expounding our exploits and thereby confusing the medium with the message. It is not the cure, it is the disease and our willingness to touch and be touched by that which and those who are hidden from us and to bring them into the light.
1 Numbers 12
2 http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/ under “How you can Help” retrieved 2015-02-11