Lv 13:1-2, 44-46; Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11; 1 Cor 10:31-11:1; Mk 1:40-45
“If you wish, you can make me clean …”
This 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time also marks The World Day of the Sick. And whether by chance or by design, today’s Gospel passage perfectly suits the occasion. In the episode of the miraculous cure of the leper, we receive both 1) a model for approaching Jesus when sick or in material need, and 2) a beautiful portrait of Jesus’ compassionate response. All of which naturally leads us 3) to seek in Jesus the response to our “unanswered” prayers.
1) With respect to approaching God in prayer, the leper models for us a delicate balance between boldness and surrender. The leper is bold in making known his real needs and in professing Christ’s power—“You can make me clean.” At the same time, the conditional statement that precedes the request hints at an even deeper surrender to God’s will—“If you wish …” The leper respects the fact that Jesus is not simply vending machine for miracles: He is a person in his own right, his own mysterious will, designs and plans. “If you wish …”
Scripture everywhere recommends both boldness and deeper surrender in prayer. Read the rest of this entry »