Devotional Thoughts for Feb. 17, 2013/Second Sunday of Great Lent
- Healing the Leper
Bible Reading: St. Luke 5:12-16; 4: 40-41
Jesus is willing
The Holy Church, in her great wisdom, has ascribed for each Sunday of the Holy Lenten Season, a portion of the Gospel where Jesus performs a miracle. In the Gospel of John chapter five, Jesus encountered a man with leprosy. The man with leprosy says to Jesus, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. Immediately, Jesus touched the man and said, Im willing. Be clean. From then on his leprosy left him.
We may read this Gospel portion and find no relevance in our lives. For instances, we are neither lepers nor sick or ill; nevertheless, our reflection, when reading this passage, should not be focused solely on the fact that the man is cured from his leprosy, because the Apostle Luke, by extension, is not only speaking about physical leprosy but also of spiritual leprosy.
Leprosy is a disease; now commonly know as Hansens disease, which causes severe damage to the nerves, limbs and eyes and eventually death. Likewise, we can see sin as a disease, that is, it destroys our souls, and if not treated in the initial stages, can cause mental and physical problems and even death. (James 1:15) If such is the case with sin, then our resolve to treat it must be urgent and persistent. No one is immune to sin. (Romans 3:23) However, through Christ, we have the power to defeat and overcome sin. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) All we have to do is ask, not passively, but fervently. (Matthew 7:7) This is what the leper did. He asked by saying as aforementioned, Lord, if you are willing. In other words, he said, Lord, if you want to heal me, then go ahead. When the leper asks in this way, how could Jesus refuse? Remember, Jesus himself said God the Father will not refuse to provide good gifts to those who ask. (Matthew 7:11) Here, Jesus could not refuse, because He is a loving and willing to give to those who ask. If we ask Jesus to take away our sins, to help us resist temptation, to fight against the attacks of satan, to protect us, to be faithful, to heal, to deliverHe is more than willing to do it.
This Holy Lent, like the leper, let us approach Jesus Christ and ask him to heal of us of our spiritual leprosy. The results will show that Jesus is more than willing.
Fr. Gheevarghese John
Asst. Vicar, St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia
Director, Way of the Cross Ministries