The fate of a leper is a great tragedy at any time and place. In Jesus’ time, lepers were considered condemned, part of the plagues God sent as punishment. They were cast out of society and abandoned. Saint Mark’s Gospel reveals the unthinkable. Jesus reaches out and touches a leper. He risks catching the contagious disease and heals the man. As the Gospel story teaches, no one is abandoned by Christ. Are there those in our society or in our personal lives for whom we ascribe no hope, who we have abandoned, treated like lepers? Or as Christ’s stewards of our sisters and brothers, do we risk reaching out and touching those who may seem to us to be “unclean” or not worthy of our time or attention?