Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him. And he ordered him to tell no one. “Go,” he said, “and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.” But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
In today’s Gospel, Jesus cures a man with leprosy and then orders him not to tell anyone. We’re encouraged by St. Ignatius to find God in all things and yet, in this moment so clearly filled with God’s love and grace, the cured man is expected not to shout from the rooftops about this wonderful miracle. To me, this opens up one of those wonderful challenges — how else can the cured man show his gratitude for this gift of new life? In some ways, shouting for joy and praising the Healer is easy and allows us to feel like our task is complete when we finish saying, “thank you.”
As we find God in our daily lives, aren’t we also called to show gratitude? With Christmas just two weeks behind us, have we found ways to continue celebrating Christ’s presence in our world? Or did we stop on December 26th because the holiday was complete?
—Molly MacCready is the Partner Program Coordinator for Charis, a Jesuit retreat ministry for young adults in their 20s and 30s. Molly is also the Executive Director for CROSO, a nonprofit providing college scholarships to former street children in Uganda.
Lord, the leper’s voice is my voice. When you touch him, you touch me. Your compassion frees me to be honest about my shortcomings. I begin anew today. May all that I think and all that I do be expressions of my hope in you.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!