Reading I: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1
GOSPEL: Mark 1:40-45

The Cat is Out of the Bag!

I have a really great secret to tell you. There’s just one catch: If I tell you this, do you promise not to tell anyone? And I mean anyone. We’re talking top-secret here. Mum’s the word, got it? If this gets out, there’s no telling what will happen.

Here it is: Jesus Christ is the Messiah!

On the QT

I know, I know – that’s no secret to us today. We proclaim this “secret” every weekend when we celebrate liturgy, and we should be proclaiming it in how we live our lives. But in Jesus’ time, it was a big secret. You may be thinking, “Gee, if I were the messiah, I’d want to let everyone know. ‘Hey guys! Listen up! I’m here to save you!’”

I know that’s what I’d want to do. I bet there were probably some times when all Jesus wanted to do was shake his apostles and say just that. The problem is this – the Messiah had to do more than just work miracles. He was going to have to suffer. Even Jesus’ friends had a hard time understanding the concept of the Messiah having to suffer. If the apostles had a difficult time understanding that being the Messiah meant more than working miracles, just think what the rest of the world would have thought at that time.

Can You Keep a Secret?

So here’s this poor leper, who was just cured of his disease, and he’s told that he can’t tell anyone how it happened. What does he do? He does exactly what you or I would have done in that situation. He immediately goes to tell everyone what just happened, even though he was told not to!

I’m much the same way. I’m not too good at keeping secrets, especially if it’s something cool. If you were to ask my husband, he could tell you numerous occasions where I’ve tried to surprise him (Christmas, birthdays, dinner), but couldn’t keep the secret long enough – I was so excited that I just had to tell him right away!

Jesus sparked something in the people he taught and in the people he healed. We can experience that same spark today, if we open ourselves to it. We can have that same excitement that the leper had – the kind of excitement that makes us want to tell everyone about how awesome Jesus is. In fact, we should be even more excited to tell the secret than the leper was! Jesus cured him of his disease. But for us, Jesus died so that we could have eternal life with him. WOW. Now that’s some exciting news!

Don’t Worry – You Don’t Have To!

Fortunately for us today, the Messianic secret is anything but! Instead of keeping the miraculous events, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus’ life a secret, we have to spread the good news of the Gospel to make sure everyone knows about it.

Let’s do more than the leper did. Let’s spread the Gospel not just in our words, but in everything we do. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have a secret to pass along to some other people too!

Life Applications:

How good are you at keeping secrets?
How well do you do at spreading the Gospel?
Have you considered a vocation to spread the Gospel? Why or why not?

Original article by Jacki Popadich, 2003-2021.
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