Thursday, 11 January 2018 -
Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:40-45.

A leper came to him 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 him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then 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.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint John of the Cross
"Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him"

O divine life, you never kill unless to give life, never wound unless to heal. When you chastise, your touch is gentle, but it is enough to destroy the world. When you give delight you rest very firmly, and thus the delight of your sweetness is immeasurable. You have wounded me in order to cure me, O divine hand, and you have put to death in me what made me lifeless, what deprived me of God's life in which I now see myself live. You granted this with the liberality of your generous grace, which you used in contacting me with the touch of “the splendor of your glory and the figure of your substance” (Heb 1:3), which is your only begotten Son, through whom, he being your substance, “you touch mightily from one end to the other” (Wis 8:1). And your only begotten Son, O merciful hand of the Father, is the delicate touch by which you touched me with the force of your cautery and wounded me. O you, then, delicate touch, the Word, the Son of God, through the delicacy of your divine being, you subtly penetrate the substance of my soul and, lightly touching it all, absorb it entirely in yourself in divine modes of delights and sweetnesses unheard of in the land of Canaan and never before seen in Teman (Bar 3:22)! O, then, very delicate, exceedingly delicate touch of the Word, so much more delicate for me insofar as, after overthrowing mountains and smashing the rocks to pieces on Mount Horeb with the shadow of the might and power that went before you, you gave the prophet Elijah the sweetest and strongest experience of yourself in the gentle breeze (1Kgs 19:11-12)! O gentle breeze, since you are a delicate and mild breeze, tell us: How do you, the Word, the Son of God, touch mildly and gently, since you are so awesome and mighty? O happy is the soul that you... gently and lightly touch... “You hide them in the secret of your face,” which is the Word, “from human disturbance” (Ps 31[30]:21)

Living Flame of Love, stanza 2 (©Institute of Carmelite Studies)