The best way to spread news is to tell someone to keep a secret. “Say nothing. Keep your mouth shut.” But People talk. Can’t hide the sun with one finger. The leper could not wait to tell others the good news!
Something wonderful happened! Jesus healed him! Notice that the leper had no name. Interestingly, when people are not named, any of us can identify. We can all identify with the condition of being ostracized. For example, a diagnosis with COVID, even being vaccinated means at least five days in isolation. Some of us have withdrawal symptoms when we must leave our regular routines. Being alone for five whole days is challenging for folks who love contact with others. By nature, we are social beings. Introverted people have an easier time being alone. Imagine being separated from family, familiar faces, society for the rest of our life. That was the destiny of a leper. Leprosy was a disease that was considered sinful, as were most diseases. No one wanted to be near a leper. The best way of coping was to separate them. Since lepers were at the bottom, the contaminated man had nothing to lose. He took a risk. The leper broke all the rules to approach Jesus. Notice that he went straight to His feet. Kneeling, he begged Him. “I know that you can heal me. I have no doubt that you can heal me. Please, just say the word.” Jesus saw his soul. Humility is obviously the key in the miracle of cleansing. When we are desperate, we are more willing to kneel. God hears us just was well when we are standing or lying down or sitting. Kneeling gives us a different view of reality.
Kneeling is for us, not for God. We cannot add or subtract anything for God’s majesty. To kneel reminds us of our dependency upon God—something we forget when we do not need anything. Posture helps us to focus on the One who can make miracles happen. What needs cleansing in us? What things keep us separated from the community? Every Sacrament, particularly Reconciliation restores us to original innocence. Absolution removes sins. The stain of the past is taken away. However, like the leper we need to allow the Lord to forgive us. Means that we must let go of the past. Issues of control get in the way. The voice of the accuser whispers that what we did was so bad that God will never forgive us. Naturally a lie. Unfortunately, we tend to believe the negative. We are all guilty as charged. But we have been acquitted. Jesus Christ has redeemed us at the price of His Blood. There is no need to stay separated from the community. He has made us clean.
The most difficult task is to believe in our self-worth. Many of us value ourselves by our last name, or educational degrees we have earned or the money we have in the bank. None of those things matter in the light of eternity. What matters is our willingness to be loved by God. He is willing and says, “Be made clean.” Are we ready to believe? Do we want to surrender? Christ compels us to take the step toward Him. We cannot survive on our own merits. The only way up is the way down. Our place is at the feet of Jesus begging for healing. Once we are set free, then there’s no stopping us. Like the leper we want to give witness. We can become the best evangelizers that ever lived because we are not speaking from a book or because someone told us, or we feel obligated. We will speak from our personal encounter with Jesus Christ. God has done countless good things in our life. We should not keep quiet. Just the fact that we are alive. We’ve all got a story to tell. Many of us have been on death’s door. Without deserving, God has given us another chance. Although our physical health is important, the inner cleansing is more important. Some things might hurt. Perhaps no one can claim perfect health. However, a clean soul is the way to define true freedom.
The leper approached Jesus for healing. We can do the same. He is here for us in the Blessed Sacrament. All that we need to do is ask.