In today’s Gospel, we read about a man suffering from leprosy approach Jesus and ask for his healing. What strikes me right away is the fact he basically told Jesus you can heal me if you want to but you don’t have to. We often ask Jesus for healing and get frustrated when our disease doesn’t go away. Let me assure you God hears all of our prayers. But just like the leper, we must remember they will be answered according to the divine will.
We hear Jesus healed many people up and down the coast of Israel, so why is this leper significant? First of all he disobeys Jesus. Jesus pleads with him to tell no one how he was healed but to simply go present yourself to the temple priest. How many times are we healed and instead of going out to evangelize by our faith or giving praise to God, we instantly forget and turn back away from him?
All passages in the Gospel’s have a symbolic meaning to them. The leper was a symbol of the unclean who weren’t allowed into the temple area to worship, they weren’t even allowed to live amongst other Israelites but rather like swine away from the purity of the temple. Lepers were often faithful Jewish Israelites who were heartbroken when they were blocked from entering the temple, they were exiled.
Just like the Israelites were exiled in the desert and grew over time apart from each other, Jesus came to call back all the tribes of Jacob, to unify Israel and God’s chosen people. Jesus wants us all to worship God together, he doesn’t want to see a broken Church.
Whether we are in need of mental or physical healing preventing us from coming to Church or in need of spiritual healing through confession. God’s mercy is available for all who seek it because he wants all of his Father’s chosen people back together.
Remember, our Lord said “I do choose, be made clean!”