SAINT HILARY, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him.
Under Jewish law, a person with leprosy wasn’t supposed to approach another person without a warning that he was coming. Yet the man in today’s Gospel reading not only came to Jesus but knelt down before him. He was clearly taking a risk. Why? Because he believed that Jesus could heal him.
This man’s humility and expectant faith provided the opening for Jesus to heal him—not only physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. Imagine the way the Lord might have looked into the man’s eyes as he knelt before him. The love and compassion in his gaze, the touch of his hand, and his words, “I do will it,” signified that Jesus received not only this man’s body but his heart, his whole person (Mark 1:41). Jesus loved him completely; he saw more than a man with leprosy; he saw a beloved child of God.
We don’t suffer from leprosy, but we are all in need of Jesus’ healing touch. We might be suffering from physical sickness, but we might also be struggling with a spiritual or emotional problem like fear, anxiety, a sinful habit, or trauma from the past. And we long for what the man with leprosy received: healing, acceptance, and God’s unconditional love and mercy.
The good news is that when you come to Jesus in humility and with faith, you can have just as tender an exchange with him as the man in today’s Gospel did. Jesus is already “moved with pity” for you, and he wants you to experience his personal love for you (Mark 1:41).
So tell Jesus about your pain—be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Ask him questions and share your thoughts and feelings with him. This is how you “kneel down” with humble faith. Then ask him to heal you. Keep acknowledging your need and keep asking in faith. Your troubles may not dissolve instantly, but Jesus will pour his love into every area of your heart that is hurting. His love is the core healing we all need and desire, and this love will heal you, perhaps in ways you can’t even imagine.
“I kneel before you today, Lord. Come and heal me!”
1 Samuel 4:1-11
Psalm 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25