Catena Aurea, Mk 1:29-39, Sunday 6B
The Venerable Bede (672/3-735), in Marc., i, 9: And because the Lord said that He came “not to destroy the Law but to fulfill,” (Matt. 5:17) he who was excluded by the Law, inferring that he was cleansed by the power of the Lord, showed that grace, which could wash away the stain of the leper, was not from the Law, but over the Law. And truly, as in the Lord authoritative power is shown, so in him the constancy of faith is shown.
For there follows: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He falls on his face, which is at once a gesture of lowliness and of shame, to show that every man should blush for the stains of his life. But his shame did not stifle confession; he showed his wound, and begged for medicine, and the confession is full of devotion and of faith, for he refers the power to the will of the Lord.
Theophylact of Ochrid (1055-1107): For he said not, If you wish, pray unto God, but, “If you wish,” as thinking Him true God.
St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407), Hom. in Matt., 25: Further, the reason why He touches the leper, and did not confer health upon him by word alone, was, that it is said by Moses in the Law, that he who touches a leper shall be unclean till the evening; that is, that he might show that this uncleanness is a natural one, that the Law was not laid down for Him, but on account of mere men. Furthermore, He shows that He Himself is the Lord of the Law; and the reason why He touched the leper, though the touch was not necessary to the working of the cure, was to show that He gives health, not as a servant, but as the Lord.
The Venerable Bede (672/3-735): Another reason why He touched him, was to proved that He could not be defiled, who free others from pollution.
And now it may well be asked why our Lord ordered His action to be concealed, and yet it could not be kept hidden for an hour? But we can see that the reason why, in doing a miracle, He ordered it to be kept secret, and yet for all that it was shouted abroad, was so that His elect, following the example of His teaching, should wish indeed that in the great things which they do, they should remain concealed, but should nevertheless unwillingly be brought to light for the good of others. Not then that He wished anything to be done which He was not able to bring about. But, by the authority of His teaching, He gave an example of what His members ought to wish for, and of what should happen to them even against their will.