In Our Lord's time leprosy was a double whammy in that while it left a person with a flesh-eating disease, it also made him an outcast from society. He was obliged to call out, "Unclean, unclean!" to any who came near him.
It is significant with the leper in today's Gospel that he did not ask Jesus to cure him, he asked him to make him clean. It is significant as well that Jesus did not cure him with just his word. No, he reached out, touching the man.
Since Hansen's finding a cure for the leprosy virus the national leprosarium in Carville Louisiana has been closed down, and our country is almost free of lepers. We do though, have people who are avoided the way lepers were. We should consider offer Our Lord's kindly outreach to people whose poverty leaves them filthy.
I was touched several years ago by a sixtyish woman I gave a ride to on I-10. Her family had abandoned her three years before, and she was left to live on the road. She was always on the lookout for a place where she could bathe and wash a few things.
Pope Francis this last week set up a place in the Vatican where people could get a free hot shower and haircut.