Every human being has a need to be touched. Jesus touched he leper. He did not need to do so in order to heal him. By touching him, Jesus broke the law demanding separations (cf the first reading), and so made himself an outcast, having to ‘stay outside in places where nobody lived’.
Jesus often touched people. He understood that touch has its own power to communicate, and that some people need touch for reassurance of acceptance. Jesus put his fingers into the ears of a deaf man and touched his tongue with spittle (Mark 7:34). He took a blind man by the hand and put spittle on his eyes (Mark 8:32). People brought children ‘for him to touch them.’
Like others, Jesus himself appreciated being touched. In chapter 7 of Luke we have the story that gave scandal: Jesus allowed himself to be touched and
anointed by a woman who was a known sinner.
Reflections for Sundays
God is With Us
Michael Morwood MSC