Friday of 12th week, O.T., uneven numbered year Vendredi 12e semaine, T.O. année impaire

“After he had come down from the mountain, large crowds followed him.”
Tuesday 3 November 2015

Gn. 1, 1.9-10. 15-22 Ps. 127 Mt. 8, 1-4

FRIDAY of 12th WEEK, O.T., uneven -numbered year

“Suddenly a man with leprosy came up and bowed low in front of him, saying, ’Lord, if you are willing, you can cleanse me.”

A ’leper’ is an impure man with whom an Israelite must not have any contact with! It is just a simple rule of prudence and hygiene faced with skin diseases avoiding their propagation amongst the people. He had to live outside the walls of towns and of villages, wear torn clothing and warn of his presence by crying out ’Impure! Impure!’ This is what sin produces, our acts of lack of love towards God and our neighbour. The leper is the ’sign “of the destruction that sin causes, impure in one’s souls, a consequence of non-love, separated from God’s Love and the love of men, excluded from community life, from liturgical and sacramental life. But God doesn’t leave us to our sorry self, He never abandons us. He always leaves us with a possibility of coming back to Him, giving us a way of reconciliation and Love. This leper who was excluded from the living world is as if dead, and so in Jesus he recognises ’his Lord and his God.”, and chooses to come back to God by addressing a prayer of request to God : ’Lord, if you wish, you can cleanse me.“He calls Jesus quite naturally ’Lord’, that is, ’Master’, for he recognises in him the one who can heal him of his leper. Jesus waits for us to come back to him, to re introduce us into a communion with him. This’ leper approached Jesus ’; It is not an attitude that would consist of coming back to God and waiting for God to come back to Him, it is a dynamic attitude that engages him in full liberty with his weight of misery, with everything that is good in him and all that is less good ; he moves towards God, with great determination and trust.”Jesus stretched out his hand, saying, ’I am willing. Be cleansed.and his skin disease was cleansed at once." God wants to save us and forgive us our sins. he wants us to be in communion with Him. ’If you wish’, this man says to Him. He makes an act of surrender, taking the risk to give everything over to God’s Will, to God who can do all things. He takes the risk of trusting Jesus whom he has

recognised as His God, taking the risk of receiving God’s benefits, from God who is nothing but Love and Goodness.He trusts in the Lord, knowing that he is taking a risk that Jesus’ Will might not be what he wants, yet he trusts him fully. He knows that the Lord wants what is best for Him. This is his act of faith. This is man’s responsibility : to choose freely and, out of love, go towards the Lord, recognising his sin, and thus coming back to communion with God for whom we have been created. God has placed in our hearts a treasure in giving us faith so that we keep up hope and the ardour of charity. Faith is linked to our love.“Jesus said ’Mind you tell no-one, ut go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence to them.”

Nothing is impossible for God, a proof of it is this contagious leper who makes people impure when they touch him, can be healed by Jesus. Jesus’ request may surprise us : He, Jesus, the Lord and God, the Word through whom all was made and nothing was made without Him, tells him to go and show himself to the priest. Here we recognise Jesus’ humility, which is very gentle. Jesus is giving signs so that we may believe! Is there anything he is unable to do? It is his dearest desire to purify us, forgive us our sins, in order to re introduce us into his friendship. Jesus will take all our wounds in his Passion, everything will be healed by his transpierced Heart. This is the secret He wants us to enter into. Jesus, if you wish, you can bring about your work of healing that you make my heart hope for! We need just to make a leap of faith so that God comes and does his work in us; we have such a hard time in believing that God can act in our lives. Jesus wants to make the sources of Life in us flow abundantly from us, and he wants us to dwell in faith. This faith turns Jesus’ heart around ’I am willing, be cleansed.’ Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him." The desire of the creature’s heart joins the desire of the heart of God who has placed a treasure in our hearts in giving us faith, so that we keep up hope and the ardour of charity. ’You can purify me.’ At last, having made his act of abandonment, he can truly address his pray of request to Jesus :’You can purify me.’ ’ You can.’ Let us meditate for a few seconds this simple verb. Here again, I can see an act of faith of our leper : an act of faith in the power that Jesus has to purify the sinner and to forgive sinners.

Let us ask for the grace that faith may grow in our hearts.

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