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
Something important is happening in today’s Gospel: a man with leprosy asked to be cleansed. It is not so much the miracle that is important, though significant, but this man recognized his own desperate situation. From that and through his faith he asked Jesus for help.
In our daily life, in our daily prayers, do we take a moment to recognize our own shortcomings, our own sins? And do we, like the man with leprosy, have the courage to admit that we need help from our Savior?
Sin blinds us from seeing the truth of who we are and what we do. It often keeps us isolated, it ruptures relationships, it promotes undesirable feelings. We must be audacious to admit our faults, errors, offenses, and go to Christ for assistance. We must always keep in mind that the love of Jesus is unconditional and he accepts us for all we are and all we are not. He loved the man with leprosy so much he cleansed his body, and so, too, he loves us and will give us the exact same treatment. Like the leper, we just have to ask and believe that we need “only say the word and [our] soul shall be healed.”
—Damian Torres-Botello, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
Dear Jesus, may all that I do be done with your inspiration. Guide me in all that I do, in all that I say, in all that I feel; hold me in your presence and never let me be apart from you. Amen.Please share the Good Word with your friends!