The body – Ordinary12c Friday

Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him.  Perhaps the most remarkable thing about his healing was not that Jesus healed the man – he was, after all, the Son of God – but that he touched the man.  Lepers were considered, and certainly smelled, repulsive: they were quite literally untouchables.  Jesus knew that.  Jesus also knew that he did not have to touch him to heal him: as we saw in many cases, a word from Jesus was quite enough to cure anything.  So why did he touch him?  I think it is in part to underline the importance of the sacraments.  All the sacraments involve the senses.  This is because they are not merely the action of an ordained man but rather the action of Jesus himself continuing his ministry of touch and sense in order to restore not only our hearts but also our bodies.  Jesus loves our bodies: it is him who designed them, and him who assigned them to us as part of the person we are.  Let us turn with thanks to him again today, as he touches our mouth in the Eucharist.