Devotional Thoughts for the Lepers Sunday 25th Feb 07
- Devotional Thoughts for the Lepers� Sunday � 25th Feb 07
(2nd Sunday of the Lent)
Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Luke 5: 12-16, 4:40-41
Dear and Respected Brethren,
The Holy Church spends five Sundays of the Great Lent with five patients of different natures, who were ignored by the society and were downtrodden and poor. It is needless to say that the Holy Church remembers them as our Lord was compassionate and merciful to each and everyone whenever our lord met them. We all are sure about the position of the lepers at the time of our Lord in the society. The meeting of the leper in today�s reading is also narrated by St. Matthew (chapter 8:2) as well as St. Mark.(Chapter 1:40) We are not sure how the leper could reach our Lord when our Lord was in a certain city. In the Holy Bible we read, �he fell on his face and besought him saying Lord if thou will, make me clean.� See what a beautiful prayer is submitted by a leper. He was sure what to do when one would meet our Lord God. He fell on his face. Falling down is an action without waiting or re-thinking. When one falls down on his face is the complete submission. Our Lord needs you all and me to submit ourselves cent percent without reserves. That is why the Holy Church insists us to follow the prostration during the Lent and the fasting. During the Lents we prostrate 40 times along with our noon prayers. While we do it, we are remembering and participating the suffering and fasting of our Lord God. We are trying to identify ourselves to our Lord God. Think how many of us could do it meaningfully?
The Leper�s prayer was not a demand. It was an ideal humble request and an earnest prayer. He said �If you will, kindly make me clean�. We often pray for our needs and the needs are submitted as if they are our right and obligatory for God to grant them all in time. Our prayers and supplications must be like this only. �Lord, if you will grant me��� And the second part of the leper�s prayer is so significant. He was sure of his own weakness. He was sure and certain that he was unclean. So he longed for his cleanliness. He was sure that our Lord could grant him the cleanliness. We often ignore about our own demerits and our own sins, which make us impure and unholy. Our minds do not consider about getting a cleanliness of our hearts and minds from our Lord God. Kindly remember that the Lenten season is the ideal time for repentance and Holy Confession. Let us make use of the opportunities in the Holy Church.
In verse 13 we read, �And He put forth his hand and touched him, saying I will; be thou clean.� We must realize our Lord�s same action still when we approach His mercy and compassion. But let us think how many of us could realize the same. We know that usually the skin of a leper must have lost the sensation. Still the leper in the reading was able to feel our Lord�s gentle touch. So we all must think why we can�t yet feel the touch of our Lord. The reason is simple. We do not keep a sort of hope as the leper in the reading. In Verse 14 we read �And He charged him to tell no man: but go and show thyself to the priest and offer for your cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.� This is the base of our sacrament of Holy Confession. There are so many people asking us �why do you go to a priest to confess your sins instead of confessing to God Almighty.�
Our Lord only suggested us to have a witness for the remission of sins. In fact the Priests during the sacrament of Holy Confession turn to be a testimony for the remission of sins granted by God Almighty. The presence of a priest in between us and God enables us to confirm our faith and conviction about the forgiveness of sins.
Let us remember all the lepers across the globe and pray for them. Let us pray for the Holy Church, which has to continue the healing mission of our Lord. Let our Church be more active in the mission of healing. Let us pray for all the Hospitals, clinics, Doctors, and the medical staff.
May God bless us all
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.