If you wish, you can make me clean…I will do it, be made clean
What a story we have in this last gospel during the ordinary time, just before we begin Lent 2021! This passage describes Jesus touching a sick man suffering from a severe case of leprosy and healing him instantly. In this miracle, we have all the essentials for any miracle, we have: 1) a leper; 2) a disease, leprosy; 3) recognition of the disease by the man who has it; 4) the presence of Jesus; 5) Faith; 6) trust; and 7) humility enough for the sick man to ask for help from Jesus. What is the lesson for us here? If we come to Jesus with faith, kneel down before Him, and present our needs to Him, then we also will receive the same response given to this leper: “I do will it. Be made clean.”
These words should give us hope in the midst of any and every challenge in life. What is it that our Lord wills for you? And what is it that He desires to make clean in your life? This story of the leper coming to Jesus does not mean that our Lord will grant any and every request we bring to Him. Instead, it reveals that He wills to make us clean of that which afflicts us the most. Leprosy in this story should be seen as a symbol of the spiritual ills that afflict your soul. First and foremost, it should be seen as a symbol of the sin in your life that has become habitual, and slowly does great damage to your soul.
At that time, leprosy not only caused grave physical damage to a person, but it also had the effect of isolating them from the community. They had to live apart from others who did not have the disease; and if they came near others, they had to show they were lepers by certain external signs so that people would not come in contact with them. Thus, leprosy had both personal and communal ramifications.
The same is true with many habitual sins. Sin does damage to our souls, but it also affects our relationships. For example, a person who is habitually harsh, judgmental, or sarcastic will experience the ill effects of these sins on their relationships.
Returning to the statement of Jesus above, consider that sin which not only affects your soul the most, but also your relationships. In regard to that sin, Jesus wishes to say to you, “Be made clean.” He wants to strengthen your relationship by cleansing the sin within your soul. And all it takes for Him to do that is for you to turn to Him on your knees and to present your sin to Him. This is especially true within the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Maybe this upcoming Lent would be an opportunity to be fully reconciled with God, and to rebuild your relationship with Him. Remember, Jesus wants to rid you of that spiritual leprosy within your soul and be free, pure, and holy.
I know it’s hard to believe, but this week with Ash Wednesday we welcome another Lent into our life. Please don’t think about how fast time flies but take it as an opportunity to know our Lord better, to love Him more, and to serve him with open and loving hearts. On Ash Wednesday, you all are welcome to join us for two masses with distribution of ashes at 12 pm and 7 pm.
Every Friday, during this time of lent, we will have an opportunity to spend some time before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. If you’ve never done this before, just come, be with Jesus for a few minutes or longer and let Him love you… that’s all we need, HIS LOVE, Jesus’ love. Adoration will begin immediately after 9 am Mass and will be held till 7 pm. After adoration, we will celebrate the stations of the cross. Another chance to know our Lord better during lent is the Lenten Faith Formation program “Forgiven”. If you did not sign up yet, please do so—you won’t be disappointed.
I cannot wait for Fish Fry Dinners in our parish this year, it will be carry out only, but still. I have already heard a lot of good things about this remarkable event at St. Genevieve –St. Maurice. Having that delicious dinner is for sure not a way that we can fast on Fridays during lent, but it is for sure how we can build our parish community. We still need volunteers to navigate this program, you are always welcome.
And the last thing, whatever your Lenten discipline would be, never forget that Lent is a time to realize what God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ.
“HHH” –Happy, Holy, and Healthy Lent to you all.