HEAL ME OH LORD
(Homily for Friday 11 January, 2019)
The process of healing especially when someone is physically sick begins when one acknowledges that he/she is sick. This acknowledgment goes with the practical steps of seeking medical attention, going for a medical test to know the exact problem. Failure to carry out this, of course, left the person with the option of dying slowly.
In life also, it is the sick person that needs the attention of the doctor and not the other way round. Physical ailment indeed obstructs our daily activities and prevents us from carrying out our daily plans. It is only when we are physically sound and healthy that we talk about meeting up with the goals we set for ourselves and actualizing our dreams.
Truly, no sick person is always happy. The daily dream of a sick person is to get well and move on with life.
The gospel of today presents us with a true picture of a sick person who is not comfortable with his condition and wants to be healed. The case of this leper in the gospel is a critical one indeed, considering the social stigmatization he was facing as a result of suffering from leprosy, one of the deadly and dangerous diseases during the time of Christ.
This leper went extra miles even to the extent of breaking the Jewish law that forbids anyone suffering from such kind of physical ailment to mingle with the people and the entire community. Without minding the social consequences of his action, the leper approached Christ with a begging question “If you want to, You can cure me? You can change my condition, you can wipe away my tears, you can make me whole, you can make me reunite with my community, with my family, with my friends, and with my relatives.
The cry of this man touched Christ to the bone marrow that He cannot but give him a listening ear and immediate response; «I want to, be cured»! Christ did not see the words of this leper as mere utterances but as words loaded with strong faith and conviction.
Faith indeed comes through hearing. This leper must have heard of Christ and believed in Him. He did not just believe in Christ but made extra effort to approach Him without minding the social consequences of breaking the law. His faith brought him healing, happiness, complete reconciliation and welcome back to the community!
Imagine the joy of this man when Christ removed his shame and brought him back to life!
The action of the leper today is a lesson for each and every one us. First of all, the man acknowledged his condition, he had a strong faith in Christ and eventually sought him for a cure.
We may be sick in different degrees; it may not be physical ailment like in the case of the leper. At times, sin not only separates us from God but also from the Body of Christ, the Church. Sin not only wounds the penitent but disconnects him/her from close union with Christ. Like in the case of the leper whose condition brought total separation from his people and community but when he got healed, he was welcomed back to the community.
As He did to the leper, Christ is ever ready to attend to us if and only if we act like the leper with faith and humility no matter the level of our condition because that is why He came to proclaim liberty to captives, to restore the sight of the blind, to set the downtrodden free and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.
Even though Christ came to bring all these, there is always the need to make a move to Him through faith like the leper. God cannot force Himself in our condition, we need to give Him access, we need to invite Him. He only forgives when we acknowledge that we have sinned and heals when we acknowledge that we are sick. Christ can only become a doctor of our souls when we make Him one.
Let us always avail ourselves the opportunity of making use of the sacrament of reconciliation in season and out of season because its effect is quite enormous. We need the presence of Christ in our family, we need Him in our places of work and where we do our businesses and most importantly, we need Christ in our country.
We can as well repeat the words of the leper in the gospel of today “LORD IF YOU WANT TO, YOU CAN CURE ME” and then wait for Christ’s reply. Let us also not forget that the only person who can overcome the world is the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God as Saint John asked in the first reading. The leper has set the ball rolling and has challenged us because He believed that Christ has all it takes to cure him and the miracle happened to him.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, I come before you with faith seeking your healing for my broken and wounded life. May your glory restore me in body and soul. Amen