Gospel – January 10, 2020 – Luke 5:12-16
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was;
and when he saw Jesus,
he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
And the leprosy left him immediately.
Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but
“Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing
what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
The report about him spread all the more,
and great crowds assembled to listen to him
and to be cured of their ailments,
but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
My mind,today, went back to my father’s last days. He was held prisoner by a body – his soul locked in place. Surrounded by people who loved him but he no longer knew – or at times even saw.
Imagine how lonely that might be.
And now imagine you get psoriasis or the measles or any skin malady and you are separated from everything you love – family, home, job or your daily life – forced to live on the outer edges of life. You have to call out “unclean” to warn others to stay away otherwise you are driven away from all civilization. If your skin condition clears you show yourself to the priests and you are allowed to return.
So, there’s hope . . . unless in case of Hansen’s Disease it never clears up. You are then locked into a dying body with no hope.
Today a young man finds himself with no expectation of a cure – wishing, dreaming of rejoining his life. And then he sees Jesus. And throwing all caution aside he approaches Jesus and says, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
This is who Jesus came for. The broken, the infirm, the lost and the marginalized all wrapped up in a beautiful young man pleading to be given back his life.
What does Jesus do? Does he draw back? Does he shrink away in disgust?
Nope, he reaches out and TOUCHES this young man and says, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
A simple touch of his hand and the loneliness and being trapped in a body wracked with fear is over.
Do we trust Jesus to do that for us?
Have we truly ever been alone?
At least that’s what I heard Him say…