Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.”
Immediately the leprosy left him. And he ordered him to tell no one. “Go,” he said, “and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.” But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Jesus would go away to lonely places where he prayed all night.[Luke 5:16]
In Seeking the Face of God, William Shannon says he made a retreat at Gethsemani, Kentucky, in the same hermitage in which Thomas Merton once lived. Alongside it was a bed of tiger lilies. Each evening they’d close their petals to the outside world for a while. Each morning, when the sun rose, they’d reopen their petals to the world. The rhythmic pattern of the tiger lilies contains an important lesson for us. We also need a rhythm in our lives—of turning inward for a while to pray to God, and of turning outward again, to work at the tasks God has given us.
How faithful am I to the rhythmic work-prayer pattern of the tiger lilies—and Jesus himself?
What is my chief motivation for maintaining it?
Those who wish to transform the world must first be able to transform themselves.
—Excerpted from Action, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX. For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
Lord, the leper’s voice is our voice. When you touch him, you touch us. Your compassion frees us to be honest about our shortcomings. We begin anew today. May all that we think and all that we do be expressions of our hope in you.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!