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The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The cries of the unclean is deafening

The lives of the Saints can make a great bedtime story for all ages. As we hear the readings for this week Sunday, January 12, 2012 I am reminded of the story of Fr. Damien of Molokai. As a priest on the island of Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands, he unselfishly administered care to the outcasts with leprosy. Having ministered to the people's physical, spiritual and emotional needs for sixteen years, he too contracted the disease then died. With Easter fast approaching and our confirmation candidates seeking Saint Names to take as their own, St. Damien is an excellent choice for anyone who has suffered or knows of someone who has suffered from a disease or illness.

Our leprosy of today can be termed a different name. Those who contract the disease is shunned by society, many of whom did not ask for this disease or have a very difficult time accepting that they have it. The disease "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" (AIDS) can come like a thief in the night. All that glitter these days are not gold, but the truth can also be said about the average person who claims to be a Christian. The outside seems well put together that gives off the impression that this person is of righteousness, yet our soul is tarnished like that of a leper, with scabs, pustule and blotches.

Just as those who have contracted leprosy must dwell apart from the others, so too do we place ourselves outside the body of Christ by our sins. We do not need someone to tell us that we are unclean and need help; we have all been imprinted with the burning desire to seek restoration of our uncleanliness. David knew who he needed to turn to in his time of trouble as we read in Psalm 32, "I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation." Thankfully many of us do a very good job in concealing our internal leprosy, otherwise we find ourselves walking away from the camp in shame, but is that even necessary though? Consider this when you feel as though you are too unclean for the house of God: the Church is a hospital for the sick, not a club for the proud and rich.

When we profess to be Christians we are told to imitate Christ as St. Paul tells us in the second reading taking from 1 Corinthians. When we talk the talk we must be prepared to walk the walk. We are all sinners and lepers in some way, and can only be healed by the help of God. It must begin with us; by recognizing our uncleanliness can seek God, thereby turning our attention towards helping others in need. There is no need for you to walk around shouting "unclean, unclean," but embrace the sacrament of confession so that the sores and pustules may be removed once and for all.

Jesus lowered himself among the sick, those sick of illness and those spiritually sick. Jesus never ran for cover when he came upon those infected with the affliction of leprosy. He knew they wanted to be helped and they believed that He could heal them, and He did. Those sick today in our societies who are unable to expose their sickness for fear of rejection cry inside for our love and attention. Again, there are those of us who are spiritually crying out to God, but neglect to accept His invitation for fear of being unworthy and unclean. Allow Jesus to heal you completely, for the soul is worth more than the body. Let us all do as Christ did, by reaching out to those seeking help and restoration to God's love and mercy.

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