Monday, February 09, 2009

Mark 1:40-45

Epiphany 6 – Year B

Mark 1:40-45

How hard it is to choose to keep a good to oneself.

L. If you choose, you can heal.
J. I choose.

J. If you choose, you can keep this to yourself.
L. I don't choose

Choice is a key issue in life. To what will we choose to be true? What will we choose to bring into being or help on the way out? How do we choose between just these two when they are in conflict?

Do you choose to follow the tradition wherein Jesus shows pity or that which has Jesus being angry about the request and not just sending the former leper away, but casting him forth as a demon would be cast out? Whichever choice you generally make, this is a good year to go the other way.

Here our preferred approach is through a translation that honors Jesus' anger. So, looked at through a lens of pity with an underlying tension of anger, Jesus sees the pitiful state of humankind. We have been run out of a garden, been raised up and let down, violence qua violence and retributive violence abound, we are caught without hope and an imagination too small. We don't even know how to claim a birthright of relationship and healing. We are left begging for these rights.

In responding to pitiful with pity, Jesus heals - knowing all-the-while that good-telling will eventually lead to bad-telling and put Jesus in the pitiful position of saying in another garden, "If you choose, you can let me off the hook. All I will have to do is keep you to myself. . . . Oh, I see, neither of us can do other than pity the circumstances and choose to be whole regardless of circumstances around us. I take it back."

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