From today’s Gospel, from St Mark: ‘And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean’.

St John Chrysostom commented: ‘He did not simply say, “I will, be cleansed,” but he also “extended his hand, and touched him”—an act we do well to analyse. If he cleansed him merely by willing it and by speaking it, why did he also add the touch of his hand? For no other reason, it seems to me, than that he might signify by this that he is not under the hand of the law, but the law is in his hands. Hence to the pure in heart, from now on, nothing is impure. … He touched the leper to signify that he heals not as servant but as Lord. For the leprosy did not defile his hand, but his holy hand cleansed the leprous body’.

May His holy hand touch us also, in the places where we are sinful and sick, and may He heal us, restoring us to well-being.