XIII Sunday after Pentecost - II Class
Epistle: Gal. 3:16-22 [Abraham's Faith and the Law]
Gospel: Lk. 17:11-19 [Cleansing of the Ten Lepers]
Full Latin-English propers here.
When we consider just what leprosy is like, it becomes clear why the Law of Moses threw lepers out of society and why these 10 lepers kept their distance and had to raise their voices to be heard by Our Blessed Lord. Simply put, leprosy causes the body to decompose while it is still alive. Leprosy is not a disease, but rather a type of disease. The Book of Leviticus, in chapter 13, describes leprosy as any illness that leaves shining white sores that go down below the skin. Leviticus describes the many different kinds of leprosy, what is healthy and what is not. Any such disease is leprous and will cause body parts to rot and fall off. It is extremely contagious. Close contact results in one catching the disease and likewise having their body rot while still alive until they die.
What leprosy is to the body, sin is to the soul. God created us humans with a great beauty and dignity for the purpose of knowing, loving, and serving Him. Our purpose, the meaning of life, is to be joined to God forever, sharing in the joy of Our Lord. Sin then is a rejection of God and His Statutes in favor of whatever pleasures society and the world say are good and laudable. Sin is a degradation of the person from the great dignity God gave to human beings in order to make people happy or just go after empty pleasure. Sin degrades the person more and more the longer it persists. The more concrete and all-consuming the sins become, the more degraded they are from the beauty and purpose for which they were created.
Like leprosy, sin is extremely contagious as people constantly tolerate sin, give in to sin, and participate in sin to avoid offending others. They degrade themselves and attack God through their sins for the sake of not offending others. Then, to rub it in God's face and make matters worse, they lie and say that God accepts their sin, that He has no problem with it because He is all-loving or all-merciful. They are so addicted to their sins that they deny the fact that God is all-just and deny the existence of Hell or that anyone actually goes there because the pleasure and happiness they desire is so important to them that they want even God Himself to bow down before them to help them get it and not punish them for it.
People will do anything to legitimize sin, even taking a part of the Catholic Faith out of context and lie about it to defend their sin, all the while denying the parts of the Catholic Faith that prove them wrong. They consider the sin to be good, so no one can call it bad, not even God Himself. It is a satanic, all-consuming pride. Some such sinners (sodomites) openly call it pride and consider it a good thing. People will use any such excuse to defend sin, creating a fictional, fanciful version of the Faith where their sin is tolerable. They will use their excuses and these lies about the faith to promote their sin to anyone who will listen and all those who won't. Therein lies the contagiousness of sin. Those who practice it fight and claw with every ounce of strength to promote it and legitimize it, because they are so addicted to it that they do not want it to go away.
It is clear then that sin is a horrible, evil disease that goes about in sheep's clothing. Just looking at this landscape is depressing, but we have two things in our favor. First, we must keep our distance from sin. It is not enough to know that those promoting sin are wrong and (when speaking of God) are lying about God. We must avoid them entirely. We cannot stay and fight, as temptation is a battle that is only won by cowards. The only way to win against temptation is to flee from it and towards God and Our Lady. The other thing in our favor is that Christ cures the disease of sin as fast as He cured the lepers. The One who allegedly tolerates "sin" because He is all-loving and all-merciful is the one who brutally destroys sin because it degrades His creation and goes against the very reason why that creation exists in the first place. That same creation is cleansed and made stronger by that brutal destruction of sin, the same way the body is cleansed and made stronger by the destruction of disease. The fact that Christ is all-loving and all-merciful does not mean that He tolerates sin, but rather it means that He destroys sin. Only an idiot, an absolute fool with no regard for his neighbor's well being, will campaign for "leper's rights", that people have the right to live with deadly leprous diseases if they so desire and that we need to tolerate lepers and that God loves them anyway. That is absolute stupidity and a blatant disregard for people's health. Anyone with any sense whatsoever will fight and claw to cure the lepers. We must do likewise with sin. No sin is any different. A land of make-believe where God tolerates sin is exactly that.
This fight against sin for the well-being and dignity of God's creation is not anything that can be put off. If someone is dead in sin and they die, then they are forever dead in sin and burn in Hell, which let's face it, is far more populated than Heaven. After the Yaroslavl Air Disaster last week and the 9/11 anniversary today, I don't need to remind you that we can die at any moment. The gravity of the problem demands action now; not action after we do whatever we have to do in life, but right now. Even if we cannot do anything else, we can always pray for conversions and pray for our own sanctification. Once the sinner dies, he is forever a sinner and burns for all eternity. That includes ourselves. We have our own souls to save. Nothing is more important.