This story may me an early version of the story of the ten lepers. However the point is quite different. In this version the leper, far from not thanking Jesus, goes about the land and expresses his gratitude to all who would listen.
The passage is made even more opaque by Mark’s literary device of the “Messianic Secret” –he builds his gospel around the structure that Jesus was trying to keep who he was a secret, which doesn’t seem to be any more than a narrative form.
Surely, however, Jesus did not want to be known as the kind of military messiah that so many people in his time wanted and expected.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once a senior in high school helped a freshman study for a test.
Can you imagine anything more weird?
A senior wasting time on a freshman?
But the help worked and the freshman earned an A, a badly needed A, in the test. Now don’t tell anyone, please, the senior said. They’ll think I’m like totally weird for helping a punk like you and then every punk in school will want me to help them. Well, the freshman shot off his big mouth, like freshman always do.
The other seniors laughed at the one who had helped him, but secretly thought it was kind of cool. And sure enough mobs of freshmen descended on our poor hero demanding help.
Well, she said, I guess I have myself to blame. I knew this would happen. Now I have to help tons of them. They ought to put be on the faculty payroll.
To tell the truth, however, she liked to help.
Psalm 44: 10-11, 14-15, 25-26
10 You have made us turn back from the foe;
and our enemies have gotten spoil.
Gospel Mk 1:40-45A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning the him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
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Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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