Friday after Epiphany
The leprosy of malicious gossip
Aaron and Miriam spoke against Moses and for this reason were punished; Miriam was even struck by leprosy (Nm 12,1.10). A psalm says: “Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I destroy” (Ps 100,5). With the help of the Holy Scripture that is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4,12), let us remove this vice, let us avoid speaking ill of our brothers and sisters and offending the holy ones, for leprosy will strike the disparager and the slanderer...
There are not only the Jews who have spoken against Moses; there are the heretics too, who do not accept the Law and the prophets. They are used to accusing him, to say that Moses was a murderer because he killed the Egyptian (Ex 2,12), and to fling out many other blasphemes both against him and against the prophets. Because of these criticisms they all have leprosy in their soul; they are lepers deep down inside of them and for this reason are confined outside the camp (Lv 13,46). Therefore the heretics who offend Moses and the members of the Church who speak against their brothers and sisters and who speak ill of their fellow men, both have – there is no doubt – a leprous soul.
Thanks to the intervention of the high priest Aaron, Miriam's leper was healed the seventh day (Nm 12,15); but we, if we are affected by the leprosy of the soul because of malicious gossip, we will have to keep our leprosy and will remain unclean till the end of the week of this world, meaning till the Resurrection, unless we repent and correct ourselves before, and that we turn ourselves towards Jesus Christ, and beg him so that we may be cleaned through penance.