That’s When The Special Moments Come

Last August, I was looking to go back to Boston, I needed a place to stay. I had spent some time here in Ecuador helping to raise some money so that people here who had lost their homes in landslides could start over an have a home to live in. The next step was to hunt around the Boston area over the internet to find a home for myself!

The first thing that I needed was a temporary place to stay so I could be in Boston to look for a longer-term place to rent. So, I went onto and after a day or two, I found a perfect place. It was just the right size, it was a shared home with a middle-aged professional, it was located right in my hometown, and the price was right. I had some contact with the owner and everything was going great. I then gave him the information on my situation, that I was coming from Ecuador and looking for a place to stay. Once that was shared, things changed. My offer was rejected. Even though there were no other bidders at the time, and the room stayed listed for days afterwards, I was rejected.

I had spent all that time and resources helping the people here in Ecuador get a place to live, and now I myself was left out and without somewhere to live.

I had traded places.

Well, as it ended up, a friend and his family were very kind to let me live with them, and after a month I found a long-term place to live, a great place and location, a great fit. But I also got that whole month living with my friend’s family, getting to know them better, and sharing with them. It was a special time.

Trading places, that is the cost of love. It sets you up for the special moments.

In the Gospel, Jesus heals a leper. That means that now the leper has all the health of his body back. For the first time his skin is healthy and he feel things with his whole body. He’s cleaner and smells clean. And he’s not contagious. That means that he can enter into society very easily. He can work and get married, have kids, go to the market, spend time with neighbors, live all the benefits of a normal community life. Because it’s not that way with lepers. They have to do several things.

First, they have to never cut their hair or shave, and they couldn’t hide it by covering their heads. They had to wear very visibly messed up clothes, and they have to stay a certain distance outside the city walls. And they have to yell all the time, “Unclean!” These are all high security measures to protect everyone else. By sight, by sound, all these measures ensure that it is clear to everyone, from a very safe distance, that this person is a leper. They have to do all this so that everyone else can safely keep away from them, and no one can touch them. Because if you touch a leper, you, too become unclean. So, what does Jesus do when the leper comes to him and asks him to heal him?

He touches him.

That means, now Jesus is unclean.

Now you can see why Jesus didn’t want him to tell anyone: because now Jesus wouldn’t be able to get into the towns and villages where he wanted to preach. Now, he had to be the one on the outside, that everyone avoids. But that’s not the end of the story. Because it’s when Jesus is outside the towns and cities, it’s there that he heals all the people. That’s where all the special moments come.

There is a cost to love. To lift people up, to give good things, you have to come down. You have to trade places. But don’t be afraid. When you’re on the outside of things, when you’re not the popular one or the wealthy one or influential one or the successful one, if you’re avoided or left out on account of the persons you love, you are not alone.

There is Someone there with you.

That’s when the special moments come.

He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. (Mk 1:45)


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