February 12, 2012
Sunday in Ordinary Time
Alexander Kim, LC
Listen to podcast here.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged
him and said, "If you wish, you can make me
clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched
him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be
made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was
made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at
once. Then he said to him, "See that you tell
no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will
be proof for them." The man went away and began
to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a
town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people
kept coming to him from everywhere.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for letting
me begin this week contemplating your infinite mercy and love
for me. I need your healing touch to become the
saint you created me to be. I know you want
to heal me because you gave me the gift of
my faith: to know and love you and experience the
intense joy in following you.
Petition: Lord, I want to be made clean.
Touch my heart and heal me with your merciful love.
1. In Need of
Healing: Like the leper in this Gospel, I, too, am
in need of healing. He came humbly, as a beggar,
for he had no way of repaying Jesus for such
a great act of kindness. But his humility was founded
on faith. Confident in the scriptural passage, “Do not reject
a suppliant in distress, or turn your face away from
the poor” (Sirach 4:4), he insisted reverently. He had no
doubt that Jesus could cure him, that Jesus would take
interest in an insignificant and anonymous leper. He was asking
Our Lord for a miracle, and he knew Jesus would
grant it. He also knew that he did not deserve
or merit such a gesture of mercy. Even if Jesus
refused his plea, he was ready to accept it.
2. Moved with Pity:
Jesus was moved with pity. He stretched out his hand
to touch the leper, revealing God the Father’s will in
a tender way: “I do will it. Be made clean.”
Jesus was moved more by the leper’s humble faith than
by his leprosy. The leper’s plea struck at the very
core of the mission of the Redeemer. Jesus desires nothing
more than to remove sin and its effect in us.
Jesus “came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy
1:15) and said, “I came that they may have life,
and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). The gesture of charity
towards the leper foreshadows Christ’s redemptive death for all mankind.
Jesus wants to reach out to touch our heart and
heal us, too. We believe this to be true. All
we need to do is let him, approaching him with
humility and exercising our faith.
3. Changed Forever: The encounter with Jesus changed the
leper’s life forever. Rather than an encounter with love, it
was an encounter of love. Every encounter requires someone’s initiative.
Although the leper is the one to approach Jesus, is
it not Jesus who first makes himself accessible? In the
same way, Jesus had initiated the encounter with his first
disciples when he walked along the shores of Lake Tiberius,
allowing Andrew and John to ask, “Rabbi, where are you
staying?” (John 1:38). Lord Jesus, you enter into my life
because you want to show me the way to everlasting
life with you. Is it not you, kind and gentle
Lord, who invites me: “Come to me, all you that
are weary and are heavy burdened, and I will give
you rest” (Matthew 11:28)?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you are so merciful to
me! Thank you for loving me so much. How anxiously
you wait to fill me with your love, to heal
me from the leprosy of my sins. Help me to
be open to your embrace of healing love, confident that
each time I kneel before you to beg your forgiveness,
you will be moved with pity to touch me and
make me clean.
Today, I will imitate God’s merciful love in my own
life with everyone with whom I enter into contact: family,
fellow employees, friends.