The Gospel Today
Friday after Epiphany
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.
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D. Aclan)
I found nothing extraordinary in what Jesus said in today’s Gospel, “I do will it. Be made clean.” I believe that it was only but proper for Jesus to desire that the leper be cured from his illnes – after all, He loves us and wants nothing but goodness for all of us. What struck me and made me think was the action of the leper. He did not ask Jesus directly to cure him. Instead, he left to Jesus the choice to heal him or not, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Any normal person, in the presence of somebody who can heal his ailments, would ask for such healing. More so, the condition of the leper gave him the urgent need for relief and cure from his suffering, yet he did not demand it from Jesus.
As I reflected on this event in the Gospel, what I saw from the leper’s action was his humility. His humility led him to completely entrust himself and the cure of his sickness to the mercy of Jesus and asked not for what he needed or wanted. The leper’s attitude opened my eyes to see how demanding I was in my petitions to Him. My petitions were geared towards one direction only and that is to receive what I prayed for, unlike the leper who gave room for what God wanted for him.
The pleading of the leper to Jesus teaches me a great lesson in growing in my prayer and spiritual life. It teaches me that a mature relationship with God would always consider God’s will for me and not what I want for myself. In the midst of sufferings and pains, worries and doubt, and hardship and hopelessness, I must not yield to them and seek relief, but allow God to realize His divine plan for me by saying, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean. “