THE WORD BECAME FLESH
Friday of twelfth week in Ordinary Time, 2021
Gen 17: 1, 9-10,15-22
You can make me clean
Dear friends in Christ, Christianity is not just a set of beliefs, it is an encounter with Jesus. An encounter that changes everything. It is a cleansing that takes away the old self and replaces it with a new one. We are born anew and washed clean by Baptism and through this we become new creatures. Make sure you have a real encounter with Jesus.
In the gospel of today (Matthew 8:1-4) we have the healing of a leper, in a life changing encounter. The arrangements in Matthew of some of the miracles of Jesus immediately after the Sermon on the Mountain, points to the fact that, the miracles testify to the truth of his message; shows the tenderness of God; and act as visual instructions with deeper meanings for the followers. There are a few things to note in this passage, “…a leper came to him and knelt before him saying, ‘Lord if you will, you can make me clean.’” Lepers were not allowed into such close contact with other people, but this particular leper, displayed a great faith and braveness to come to Jesus. Examine your faith. Jesus also did something very unusual, “He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying: ‘I will; be clean.’” This action of ‘touching a leper,’ would have rendered someone unclean by the law, but Jesus did. Love conquers all, he was not bothered by that law, but about the well-being of the leper. Jesus then instructed him to keep this secret but to perform the necessary rituals for a proof of his healing, which begins with going to see the priest.
In today’s first reading (Genesis 17:1.9-10.15-22) God again spoke to Abram and this time changed his name to Abraham saying, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.” This faithfulness is demanded not only of Abraham, but also of his descendants throughout their generations. A sign of the covenant with Abraham and his descendants will be the circumcision of the male child. Abraham laughed when God repeated the promise to give him a child as different from the arrangement in form of human solution to the divine promise. He thought at a hundred years of age, he is satisfied with having Ishmael but God told him, “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son and you shall call his name Isaac.” God’s promise may be late in coming by human reckoning, but as the Psalmist says, “A day in the presence of the Lord is like a thousand elsewhere.” With God, nothing is ever too late.
A strong faith in God is the solution to your problem. Like Abraham, remain faithful and steadfast and like the leper of today’s gospel say to Jesus, “If you will, you can make me clean.”
Let us pray: Lord make me clean. Give me a pure heart to worship and praise your glory. Amen.