12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
His leprosy was cleansed immediately.
From the moment he exhibited signs of leprosy, this poor man was separated from his family. He had to ring a bell and call out “Unclean!” whenever a healthy person approached him. Imagine the kind of life he was forced to lead! Not only was he coping with the physical effects of a terrible illness, but he also had to deal with the guilt, stress, and sense of isolation that came with his exclusion. And then there were the effects of knowing that so many people around him were now afraid of him.
There was a good reason for isolating lepers, however: people in the ancient Near East knew that leprosy was an incurable and highly contagious disease. By approaching Jesus, the man risked infecting him and making him ritually unclean as well. To go ahead and do so anyway required both great courage and great faith.
Imagine the joy this man must have felt at being both physically healed and freed from the social constraints of his disease! After getting approval from the rabbi, he could return home, get a job, and live with his family once again. His whole life had changed because he dared to ask Jesus for help.
We may feel “unclean” at times, or undeserving of the little blessings—or certainly the big miracles—that God wants to give us. We may hesitate to call out to Jesus for help, to ask for forgiveness, or even to try going deeper in our faith or drawing closer to Christ. We might avoid going to Eucharistic Adoration because we don’t believe God would speak to us there. Or we might go to Confession but doubt that God has truly forgiven our sins.
Just as this fellow courageously called out to Jesus and asked for healing, you can do the same. So come to Jesus. Believe in your heart that he welcomes you and he wants to speak with you. Ask him to heal you. Right now, imagine him placing his hands on you and giving you an extra supply of his grace and healing power. Be made clean!
“Heal me, Lord, of whatever keeps me from you. Help me to believe that I am worthy of your love.”
2 Kings 25:1-12