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As with the Ten Commandments, the instructions to the priests on how to deal with skin diseases and mildew in the walls of their homes are provided for the protection and survival of the people of Israel.

If those with skin diseases were allowed to remain in the camp, the disease would spread and wipe out the entire population. So those who claimed to be cured had to observe a ritual and be thoroughly checked by the priests for the sake of themselves and all others.

So it was with the mildew in their homes, as left untreated, it too would spread and destroy the homes of the people. Even though the people of Israel may not have fully understood God’s laws, obedience was necessary for their continued prosperity.

In Mark’s gospel we listen to the familiar events surrounding the feeding of the five thousand men and their families; Jesus walking on water and commanding the wind and the waves.

The disciples probably did not understand why they had been chosen to follow Jesus, never mind how this man from Galilee could exercise such control over nature itself. In spite of all they had witnessed, they still did not know that Jesus was the Messiah, sent by God.

Today, we have all the evidence of the scriptures before us, together with more than two thousand years of teaching and tradition of the Church, the witness of the saints and many holy people. Yet do we truly believe and trust that Jesus is the Son of God who suffered, died and rose again to free us from our sins?

Scripture: Leviticus 14:1-57; Mark 6:30-56; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 10:11-12