Devotional Thoughts for March 5, 2006/2nd Sun of Lent (Leprosy Sunday)
- This is the first miracle Jesus performed after the
Sermon on the Mount. In the first miracle, Jesus
transformed the lifeless water into wine; here
transforming a lifeless person.
Leper (Leviticus 13:45-46): Clothes shall be torn;
head bare; cover mustache; to cry ?Unclean! Unclean?;
dwell alone outside the camp. We see a good picture of
Leprosy in Leviticus 13-14: Hate and aversion. As
Christians, they Should not be alienated/isolated;
should not be hated; should be sympathised. Our
Church's Leprosy Center in Yacharam, Hyderabad has
been functioning with this motto.
No cure for leprosy on those days. Only Jesus, Son of
God, could cure. Jesus is a good teacher: Luke 18:18
(Ruler); Jesus is sent by God: John 3:2 (Nicodemus);
Jesus is sent from heaven: John 3:31 (John, the
Baptist); Jesus is a prophet: John 4:19 (Samaritan
woman); Jesus is Messiah: John 20:16, 31 (Peter);
Jesus is Lord and God: John 20:28 (Thomas).
Here we see a personal request: The leper fell down
and prayed to heal him. He had physical and mental
flaws and wanted to be cured. He was alienated from
society. He went to the Lord. Story of Naaman (2 Kings
5:14ff cf. Luke 4:27). He had faith; he was humble; he
was courteous. His desire to become holy. His faith in
Jesus. ?What comes out makes unholy?: Mark 7:21-22.
Wash it away: Jeremiah: 4:4: Should wash away the
uncleanliness. Compare the Pharisee and the Publican:
Luke 18: 9-14. Jesus told him: ?I am willing, be
cleansed.? Jesus? readiness to cure. Jesus is the one
to whom we should go to be cleansed. Went to Zaacheus?
house, forgave the thief on the cross, the prodigal
son was welcomed.
Have compassion: Jesus had compassion (Matthew 9:36;
14:13; 15:32 cf. John 3:17) toward the needy. We
should have also.
Stretched out his hand (Mark 1:41). Adam and Abshalom
stretched their hands to sin. Do not reach out to
iniquity (Psalm 125:3). Noah streched out his hand
(Genesis 6:9), Moses on Jordan, and Jesus on the
cross: Can we stretch out to save and help.
GOD'S TOUCH: Touch to clean (Isaiah 6:7); to
strengthen (Daniel 10:6), and to give life (Jesus).
Jesus touched the leper and cleansed him. Leper
doesn?t touch anybody. No one dare to touch him
either. That is why he asked Jesus to heal him if
willing. Jesus could do that even without touching,
but touched. It was a fresh experience for him to be
touched, especially here by the Son of God. Christ
either touched the sick or was touched by them
(Matthew 14:35-36). ?People brought all their sick to
Him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge
of His cloak, and all who touched Him were healed.?
The healing touch of a doctor, and the blessing touch
of a clergy who touch the forehead to bless or laying
of hands at ordination. In Puerto Rico, 180 touches in
an hour; in France, 110; in USA just two and in
England 0 (none). Many church members are hungry for
our touch of concern and comfort. Kiss of peace has
There are several kinds of touching:
a. Touch of understanding: Feel the pulse and take
b. Touch of convincing: His faith was convinced by the
c. Touch of identification: Jesus identified with the
d. It is a massage: ?A massage is the use of touch to
relieve stress, help body conditioning, and in
combination with medical care to help patients recover
from illness or injury.?
e. Touch of salvation: Saving from sin.. come and be
saved .. when touches, turn around .. repentance and
faith in Jesus. Paul was touched, Lydia was touched,
so many were touched and saved.
f. Touch of service: Baptism is a touch of service:
The right subject, the right administrator, right mode
and the right purpose are needed for baptism. Moses
was tending the sheep, Isaiah was busy in the temple,
John was busy in fishing when God called to service.
Philip touched the Ethiopian who turned the whole
country to the Lord.
g. Touch of separation: From worldly places and
worldly things.. The Pharisee and the Publican: 2
h. Touch of strength: ?My grace is sufficient for
i. Touch of solace: Mother?s hand on son?s chest at
the time of death. Heavenly father touches in times of
sorrow and trials.
j. Touch of supreme satisfaction: Two men touched the
disciples at Mount Olive and said their master will
return. "One touch is worth ten thousand words?
k. Therapeutic touch: Touching a person?s energy
field. It involves five steps:
1. Centering: Pray or focus on the best intentions to
heal the patient;
2. Assessment: Moving the hands around the body to
pick up information;
3. Unruffling: Moving the hands in a gentle flow to
facilitate ?movement of energy.?
4. Modulation: Gentle increase in hand movement to
?increase energy flow.?
5. Closure: Gentle movements to maintain a state of
l. Healing touch: Touching the sick.
m. Blessing touch: Children, ordination.
n. Divine touch.
o. Loving touch: Leviticus 13-14 cf. Numbers 5:1-4
p. Caring touch: Jesus cared for him.
q. Healing touch: His shameless approach, humble
besought and perfect surrender led for this touch.
Break down the barrier: Those who are alienated by sin
shall be attracted by showing our love and giving
advice to get him/her back to the fold. Do not
Do not do for publicity (5:14); so instruction not to
tell any body.
Go to the priest. To be cleansed, sinners have to go
for confession and absolution and then make an
offering to be cleansed: (Leviticus: 13:1-3; 14:2-32).
Give thanks according to the Law.
In order to eradicate our sinful situation:
a.Let us fall on our knees before the Lord; Forget the
proud that we are something and humble before Him and
b.Let us make an offering: See Leviticus 14th chapter.
As Moses commanded, make an offering.
c.Wash body, clothes and be clean: Leviticus 14:9
d.Cover mouth: Talk less.
During this Lenten period, let us sinners experience
the TOUCH of our Lord to be cleansed, healed, and
blessed. Also let us "touch" those who are in need.
About the Author:
The Very Rev. Thomas P. Mundukuzhy is: a priest; a
Cor Episcopa, the highest position for a married
priest in our Church; a writer; and a publisher. He
was the Sunday School Director of our American Diocese
from 1980 -2003. Graduated from St. Berchman's
College, Changanacherry, and ordained as a deacon in
1955 by the late His Holiness Baselios Geevarghese
Catholicos, Achen had his seminary training at our
Orthodox Theological College, Kottayam (Graduate in
Sacred Theology) and Serampore University, Calcutta
(external student for Bachelor of Divinity) and
training under His Grace Mathews Mar Athanasius,
Metropolitan of the Diocese Outside Kerala and
principal of our Theological College, Kottayam (later
His Holiness Catholicos Mar Thoma Mathews I) as
Student, Personal Secretary and Secretary of the
Office of the Diocese Outside Kerala and its Sunday
School Director from 1963-'67 (current Dioceses of
Bombay, Calcutta, New Delhi, Madras, America and
Canada & the United Kingdom) for a dozen years.
Ordained to the priesthood in 1966, and after serving
few parishes in Kerala and travelling extensively all
over India, joined Syracuse University (New York) in
1967 and earned his post graduate degree in
Communications (Journalism). As one of the early
settlers from Kerala in the U.S. and one of the
pioneers of the American Diocese, Achen travelled most
parts of America and Canada; served also as vicar of
St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Syracuse, New York
(1967-present), St. Gregorios, Toronto (1970-'90), St.
George, Kingston (1983-present), St. Mary's, Brooklyn
(started in 1991), and St. Paul's Congregation, Albany
(1995-present). Achen was elevated to Cor Episcopa in
1981. His many articles on several topics were
Published in the widely circulating daily news papers
in Kerala, like MALAYALA MANORAMA, KERALA BHUSHANAM,
MATHRU BHUMI and in Magazines like MALANKARA SABHA,
ORTHODOX YOUTH, CHURCH WEEKLY, etc.,. Achen is also an
author and publisher of a good number of our Church
publications. His books like OUR CHURCH, ACOLYTE'S
MANUAL, TRIVIA BOOKLET, CATHOLICATE CHURCH HISTORY AT
A GLANCE, etc., are widely read and appreciated. Achen
was also a Broadcasting Editor for several years.
Along with his several community services, the MATCH
MAKING COUNSELLING for the wide community all over
to help find a suitable match, a very needed service
of our time and circumstances, is greatly appreciated
in many circles. Achen is married to Achamma, a former
High School Mathematics teacher and has four children,
three boys and a girl. ... all well settled in the
Please go to http://www.icon.org.in/devotionalhome.icon?method=getDTHome
to read sermons posted on ICON in previous years.
- "In the Lives of the Saints are shown numerous but always certain ways of salvation, enlightenment, sanctification, transfiguration, ‘christification,’ deification; all the ways are shown by which man conquers sin, every sin; conquers passion, every passion; conquers death; conquers the devil, every devil. There is a remedy there for every sin: from every passion-healing, from every death-resurrection from every devil-deliverance; from all evils-salvation. There is no passion, no sin for which the Lives of the Saints do not show how the passion or sin in question in conquered, mortified, and uprooted."St. Justin Popovich, Orthodox Faith & Life in Christ.-----------------------------------------------"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2-----------------------------------------------