Untouchables

Thanks to Father Paul, our Jesuit homilist, who reminded us that in Mark's story of Jesus healing the leper, the operative sentence was,
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean."
 To touch a person who was considered untouchable was dangerous, transgressive, loving and courageous -- Jesus's stock-in-trade when dealing with human beings.

But the homily's kicker was this: whom do you consider untouchable?

A started on my own short list of people whom I am tempted avoid:
  • The insane -- whether made mad by illness, rotten politics or strange religion
  • The criminal -- people currently in jail, and people who were in jail
  • The rotten -- people who, like a black hole, suck the life force out of everyone they meet
I've seen these people made into untouchables:
  • The laid off -- There's nothing more like the Walking Dead than the guy who just lost his job. Don't let your boss see you're still chums! You might be next!
  • Alkies and druggies -- don't want to get co-dependent!
  • The Gay -- don't want to catch the AIDS!
  • The pierced -- Are they as dangerous as they look?
  • The wheelchair-bound -- so lonely, that they get super-clingy
  • The Old -- the guy in Dunks who looks out the window all morning
I'm not suggesting that you give a hug to the next old alkie in a wheelchair, but at least think about the people who give you the willies. Can you afford to break down your barriers, even in a small way?