March 5th. Prudence explained in the family group that leprosy in these biblical times was like HIV/AIDS today. She told the story of Namaan, a highly-placed foreigner who suffered from leprosy but was a proud and arrogant man. The prophet Elisha treated him with some disdain and sent a message for him to go and wash in the Jordan river. At first Namaan was too proud but he listened to his servants’ advice and having washed found that he was cured. He came back, thanked Elisha and acknowledged the greatness of the God of Israel.
There are psychological issues around serious illnesses like leprosy and HIV/AIDS AIDS that affect the one infected and those affected in families too. All have a right and responsibility towards one another to deal with the condition in the best way for all.
Elisha sent a messenger saying, “go and wash in the Jordan seven times. But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord.” Read Kings 5:1-15.
Pope Francis: If the family in the light of the faith accepts the presence of persons with special needs they will be able to recognise and ensure the quality and value of every human life with its proper needs, rights and opportunities. AL 47