Friday after Epiphany vendredi après l’Epiphanie

“Seeing Jesus, he fell on his face and implored him, saying , ’Sir, if you are willing, you can cleanse me.”
Friday 27 November 2015

1 Jn.5,5-13 Ps.147 Lk.5,12-16

Friday after Epiphany

“Now it happened that Jesus was in one of the towns when suddenly, a leper appeared. Seeing Jesus, he fell on his face and implored him saying, ’Sir, if you are willing, you can cleanse me.’ He stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, ’I am willing. Be cleansed.”

Jesus began his preaching in Nazareth and leaves to announce the Good News in Capharnaum. He teaches and does some healing. His Word carries an authority and a power even over impure spirits. Lepers shouldn’t have been in the town, for they ere chased away outside of the city. However, this man was here.

Concerning lepers, if someone from around about came up, they could cry out ’Lepers, lepers!’ For the fist time in the Gospel, Jesus meets a leper. The leper represents impurity, he is excluded from worship and from the society.

We contemplate here Jesus walking in the town and encountering a leper, who falls on his face and says to him ’If you wish, you can cleanse me.’ His prayer is a lovely example of faith, of what we can do throughout our day, to ask Jesus things.

Jesus goes near to him and touches him.

’Lord, the one you love is sick’; Lord, I believe in you, increase my faith.’-these are beautiful prayers displaying our faith.

’Lord, if you wish, come and purify me.’ This cry to Heaven is a cry to Jesus. This cry provokes the Infinite Love of God.

“Jesus ordered him to tell no one, ’But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering Moses prescribed, as evidence to them.”

The Saviour stretched out his hand on the leper! And he will be healed!

Jesus tells him : ’Go and show yourself to the priest" This is the place of recognition and thanksgiving. With a Word, Jesus heals the leper, but he had said to him, ’I wish; be purified.’ and not : ’Be healed’!

A miracle is not a medical cure, this healing represents the encounter with God who transforms, heals and sets free.

Jesus does not want to be considered simply as a healer of bodies, this is why he doesn’t want people to speak of miracles. Jesus, the first-born of a multitude, came into this world to save it from sin.

We thank God for all these marvels. The greatest marvel is that Jesus came to save us. God still is purifying us today by the Sacraments. The Church’s mystery continues the work of healing of Jesus. Jesus saves us in his Church and the Holy Sprit gives us life.

“But the news of him kept spreading, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their illnesses cured, but he would go off to some deserted place to pray.”

Jesus, who came to heal this leper, takes up an important prescription of the Law. He reminds the cured man the procedure for someone who thinks he is cured : he must have his cure confirmed by a priest and offer up a sacrifice. Jesus has respect for the Law, and this is the reason for which he acts like this. Luke had already underlined in the recitals of Jesus childhood, how important the Temple and the law are : Jesus had been presented in the Temple and the parents had observed a prescription of the Law for the purification of Mary. In his own way, Luke shows that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfil it.

This way of touching that we see in this Gospel passage is a ’re-creation ’ - Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him.’ and the leper was healed, so that we shall become pure and immaculate before God.

At the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit enveloped Mary completely so that the Lamb of God would be born. She is the bride of the beloved Lamb who will give Life in the Holy Spirit. She will follow Jesus wherever He will go.

We, too, ask God for the grace to be reborn to his new life. When we receive Jesus in Eucharistic Communion, this is a touch of Love that in faith and that saves us. In the Eucharist we are regenerated in the Holy Spirit, and we give thanks.

’As evidence to hem’, said Jesus. And so we can enter into a New Love as we follow Jesus.

We ask for the grace that our life may shine with the very Life of God.

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