“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean” (Mt 8:2-3).
Jesus in reaching out and touching the leper would be considered ritually unclean for having touched the leper. Unless in that coming close and touching the leper he was healed.
There are many ways in which we consider others to be unclean and so deemed to keep at arm’s length. Doing so cuts us off from entering into a relationship with one another. We then begin to believe the stirring of thoughts swirling in our minds about the other person instead of getting to know another human being with their imperfections yes, but also their gifts.
Jesus was and continues to be willing to come close, to touch us and be a part of our lives intimately, to hear our stories, our fears, our struggles, and our pain. He also celebrates with us when we overcome, when we repent, when we love. When we are willing to do the same with each other, willing to close the gap and come close, to be a conduit of accompaniment and healing, we will begin to see healing in our families, communities, and beyond. Will we do it?