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  • Father Matthew Kuhn

Leprosy Is a Vivid Image of What Sin Does to Us

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,


“The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ As long as the sore is on him he shall declare himself unclean, since he is in fact unclean. He shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp.”


Leprosy, as an analogy for sin, gives us a vivid image of what sin does to us. The Levitical Law demands that the leper show his disease openly, and that he live apart from the community because of the communicable nature of the disease. Similarly, we tend to hide our sins and avoid dealing with them. Our sins can fester within us and even begin to affect others. Or worse, we can lead others to sin. Sometimes we even need to distance ourselves from others because of the toxic effects of sins. We need to be honest about being “unclean” because our sin-wounded souls are, in fact, unclean.


Sin begets more sin unless it is brought into the light and healed. This takes honesty, humility, and courage. We need to stand up and call out to Jesus like the leper of our Gospel reading: “Lord, if you wish, You can make me clean.” As the bravery of that leper was rewarded with physical healing, so too will our bravery in approaching God’s mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, be rewarded with purification, healing, and renewal. We need God’s Grace, and we need to let that Grace shine on the most hidden parts of our lives.


Peace in Christ,

Father Matthew Kuhn


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