February 11, 2024
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dying to Self
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
Mark 1:41

On Ash Wednesday morning last year, I was in Putignano, Italy, looking for Mass. I found an open church with people sitting inside. I joined them. A man started lighting the altar candles. Mass must begin soon, I thought. But then what? Why is he lighting the paschal candle?

Well, then. Here come the men in black suits and white gloves. And a coffin. Obviously (now), not an Ash Wednesday Mass after all. I offered some prayers for the faithful departed and departed myself.

Lent is beginning in just a few days, and we might be preparing. Accidentally sitting in on a funeral was perhaps not the worst way to start off Lent, a season of dying to self. In today’s Gospel, a leper asked Jesus to cleanse him if he was willing. Of course Jesus was, and of course he is. The cleansing will change us and require letting go. That may be a sort of death but one that will give me reason not for tears but joy.

Jesus, cleanse me.

- Amy Welborn

Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46 • Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11 • 1 Corinthians 10:31—11:1 • Mark 1:40-45

Comments

February 11, 2024 at 11:04 PM

It was such a good game and a family friendly Super Bowl long time coming ❤️ To God be the glory ✝️ Good for the Chiefs, Mahomes and the owner giving God the glory ❤️

February 11, 2024 at 08:54 PM

Funerals are for the living, let's make our presence felt! Sunday night blessings Living Faith Family! Prayers for baby Siena Rose and her family, and for all with special needs and intentions especially those who are in recovery. Blessings ????

February 11, 2024 at 06:17 PM

What a story, to God be the glory, when San Francisco wins tonight with Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy ✝️ https://youtu.be/Nnu9hSNpYe8?si=0LdS4M48xqYr30OB

February 11, 2024 at 11:53 AM

Jesus is our healer ❤️✝️❤️ Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-16! *** We all have spiritual leprosy because we live in a leper colony :-( *** The demonstration of his faith in Luke 5:12bc, "When he saw Jesus, the man fell with his face to the ground. He begged Him, “Lord, if you are willing to make me ‘clean,’ you can do it.”" Mark 1:40bc, "On his knees he begged Jesus. He said, “If you are willing to make me ‘clean,’ you can do it.”" *** The leper worshipped (fell with his face to the ground in Luke and on his knees in Mark) Jesus before He healed him!!! *** Jesus loves the leper(s) and touches us with compassion in Luke 5:13a, "Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man." Mark 1:41b, "He reached out His hand and touched the man." ******* From one leper to another (me), I learn his faith prompted him to worship Jesus before he was healed ❤️✝️❤️ Will I worship Jesus falling on my face and on my knees before He answers my prayer??? And none of this, "Jesus, if You do this, I will do that..." *** Reminds me of this declaration of God is God even if God doesn't answer my prayer in Daniel 3:16-18, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him. They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to talk about this anymore. We might be thrown into the blazing furnace. But the God we serve is able to bring us out of it alive. He will save us from your power. But we want you to know this, Your Majesty. Even if we knew that our God wouldn’t save us, we still wouldn’t serve your gods. We wouldn’t worship the gold statue you set up.” Amen!!!

February 11, 2024 at 11:47 AM

Amen. :)

February 11, 2024 at 11:21 AM

Loved your reflection morning. My thoughts are 2 fold. 1) I would have loved to witness a funeral Mass in Italy, 2) you would be supporting the grieving family, even though you aren’t a relative or friend. You did what you thought was right and that’s ok. Vicky, you go for it girl, I’m sure the Holy Spirit will enlighten you so your students have a wonderful experience.Nancy, continued prayers for Cass and her daughter. Praying for patience for both of them. So glad to hear the good news about Baby Siena Rose. Keeping her and her family in heart and prayer. Linda, I agree with you about attending parishioners funerals whether you knew them or not. It shows the family that you’re with them in their grief and that you’re joining in the Celebration of their loved ones life. Hope everyone has a beautiful Sunday. Many thanks to all of our LFF and those they love.

February 11, 2024 at 09:32 AM

Amen.

February 11, 2024 at 08:41 AM

Thank you Amy for this wonderful visual! Sheila, Salina and Vicky, We were created for community! As part of the body of Christ we support each other in times of joy and sorrow. As Parish Life Chair at our parish, I have the funeral reception committee under our umbrella. When we have a funeral, parishioners attend whether they knew the person or not. And funerals are celebrations of life! I can tell you that by following Jesus' example of love and serving those in need goes a long way. We are continuously thanked by the families during the funeral and long afterwards for our service. They remember our love, and kindness. And Salina, we had a dear parishioner write a beautiful letter before she passed that her daughter read to the congregation at the eulogy. She wrote it to her husband, family, friends and parishioners. It was a perfect example of how we can reach out even after death to everyone. and evangelize! Death can be a party. We rejoice on Easter for our Savior's death! It is life for us!

February 11, 2024 at 08:28 AM

Keep me in your prayers please. I was asked to be a substitute on Tuesday for our Theologically trained bible study teacher which is a big deal because she rarely misses and when she does we have a trained fill in. It’s on Hebrews 7 and I want the Lord to speak rather than me. Also, for Troy from yesterday. I think the Lord has provided for us more than we realize in what He has passed to us through our churches sometimes. Just as in school the teacher must reach the auditory, the visual and the tactile learner, so too our churches with stained glass windows and statues and paintings along with our readings and music and our sign of peace, taking of the body ……each learner is reached—the auditory, the visual and the tactile. I am that visual learner—laughably with site in only one eye and not that good in the good eye but those statues and windows and stations of the cross give me pictures in my mind that help me to see the Lord in my mind and see His saints and their trials and triumphs. They may not be for you but maybe this description helps you to understand the person next to you who seems to be gazing a little too intently at an image. Blessing my friend, and to all!

Salina
February 11, 2024 at 11:02 AM

Hebrews 7 *** Abraham, Melchizedek and Jesus! *** Who was Melchizedek?https://www.gotquestions.org/Melchizedek.html *** Who is Melchizedek? https://youtu.be/zt31DHTGmNw?si=Q3TmqeYyX7d2XwEU

Salina
February 11, 2024 at 10:37 AM

Excellent, Vicky ❤️ Teach with love and grow with grace ✝️

February 11, 2024 at 08:08 AM

Amy the funeral was like us putting away our old ways and putting on God's ways. Listening more closely to Him. May all of us grow during this Lenten season. Also thanks for all the prayers for Cass and my granddaughter. Bill L thank you for the prayer from St. Peregrine. Each day and every new bump in this journey, may we thank God continously. Have a blessed Sunday.

February 11, 2024 at 08:00 AM

Amy, thank you for this. The way you write, I could see your scene so clearly. Sheila, loved your post….so thoughtful about how we attending the funeral of others we don’t know can be a penitential and prayerful offering where God might be speaking to us in a different way. What struck me is that God cleanses us again and again, but we get dirty so quickly. So challenging to stay clean. God, grant me the desire to stay clean and be all you created me to be. Continued prayers for Cass and baby Sienna Rose and all those needing special intentions today.

Salina
February 11, 2024 at 11:16 AM

So true, Jane! Only Jesus can cleanse us again and again explained by Jesus as part of the example He gave us in washing the feet of His disciples in John 13:6-7, 10, “He came to Simon Peter. “Lord,” Peter said to him, “are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t realize now what I am doing. But later you will understand.” Jesus answered, “People who have had a bath (Salvation) need to wash only their feet (daily sins). The rest of their body is clean (bath - Salvation). And you are clean. But not all of you are (Judas was not body clean even though Jesus cleaned his feet).

Amy Welborn
February 11, 2024 at 09:49 AM

Thank you for your kind words!

February 11, 2024 at 07:53 AM

Lord please hear our prayers and bring your light to those suffering in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, the Sudan, and all those suffering around the world - also for their strength, courage and resilience to continue walking in faith. Send them your light. Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world! You sent Your Son, the Prince of Peace, for the salvation of the world. We pray that the Peace of Christ will reign in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia and Sudan. Please protect and send aid to those in need and all who are at-risk. We pray for peace and rebuilding– we who are working towards it and for all those who are suffering or in danger from conflicts. We pray for an end to violence and war – we pray for wisdom for all leaders who have a hand in this. Lord God please help those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.

February 11, 2024 at 07:00 AM

Thank you, Amy, for your beautiful and thought provoking reflection as we prepare for the Lenten season. Thank you LFF for your prayers for Siena Rose and her family. A special thank you to Stormy, Bill L, Ken, Peggy, Jane, Joe, Faith, Joann and Lia. The are slowly turning down Siena’s flow of oxygen to see how she will tolerate it. Please continue to pray for little baby Siena Rose and her parents who also have Covid. God’s blessings to you all????????

Salina
February 11, 2024 at 10:31 AM

Joe, I had COVID two weeks ago and called my Primary Care physician and asked if I needed to take Paxlovid. She said no because of all the side effects. As long as I didn’t have a temp I would be fine to let my body heal! BTW, I am 67 and a diabetic…high risk category no less! So my regimen during healing was to drink enough water to pee every 2-3 hours, take Vit C, D and Zinc combo supplement, brush my teeth every time I pee and also gargle with Listerine to minimize the viral load in my mouth so they won’t go down to my lungs ✝️ My symptoms were minimized on the third day. Now I can party all I want because I have the antibodies ❤️

Joe
February 11, 2024 at 08:56 AM

Maryann, my prayer today is to thank God for the healing He has already begun and that He will continue to heal your family until they are completely well. For adults, Paxlovid is a prescription drug that is Godsend as a remedy for Covid if they start the regimen with five days of first symptoms.

jane
February 11, 2024 at 07:56 AM

Asking the Lord for continued healing of Sienna Rose and her family. Amen.

February 11, 2024 at 06:42 AM

Someone once told me that we are allowed to go to other people's funerals. I don't know if it's true or not, but if it is, I always thought of doing so for the people who died at my own church, during lent. I have never done it yet, but here comes lent again. If your experience had happened to me, I would be certain that God had something very special to say to me at that funeral, and I would have stayed. But He had something very special to say to you anyway, and you didn't even stay for the funeral! Thank you for sharing ❤️

Salina
February 11, 2024 at 11:59 AM

* I meant 'fertile!' not futile...but then again I am sure there will be futile soil in presence too :-(

Salina
February 11, 2024 at 08:12 AM

I agree! Funerals are the most futile ground for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ for everyone will have death on their minds ✝️ Ecclesiastes 7:2-4, “Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies—so the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time!” *** I would love to speak at my funeral before I die and preach the Gospel ❤️

Vicky G
February 11, 2024 at 08:05 AM

Shiela, we had a small lady group at our church who went to every funeral at our church no matter how large or small. They were there to pray for the departed soul and to show every family that the person no longer with us here was a loved child of God—important in the Father’s mosaic of life. I can tell you, that act to a grieving family can mean so much to know their loved one has petitions fragrant to the Lord raised on their behalf especially when those petitions can be offered by those that are rejoicing for that soul while so many others who are mourning find it hard to rejoice for them.

Hand holding another hand. Image by kieferpix | stock.adobe.com
Image of the day

STAY CONNECTED

Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

Most popular devotions

Receive a free reflection for Sundays every week via email

About Living Faith Living Faith Foundation Ambassador Privacy Policy F.A.Q. Contact Us

© 2024 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, lnc. All Rights Reserved.