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.
Many of us are now beginning to settle into our normal routines of work and school as we start a new year. Notice what Jesus does after he heals the leper in Luke’s Gospel today; he looks for a place of quiet to pray. Our natural inclination is to just pick up where things left off before Christmas, to jump right back into the busyness of our days. As we start the new year, a good resolution to consider is to follow Jesus’ lead: to find a few moments each day to be quiet and have a one on one dialogue with God. Dialogue means both speaking and listening. The Examen is a simple way to practice this, but so is just simple conversation and listening. Whether at home or at work, on a walk, in the car or on a bus or train, withdraw from the world for a few moments and spend some quiet time with our Lord.
—Jim Bozik is a permanent deacon at St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC, the Jesuit parish in the Diocese of Charlotte.
Teach me to listen, O God,
to those nearest me,
my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that
no matter what words I hear,
the message is,
“Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”
Teach me to listen, my caring God,
to those far from me–
the whisper of the hopeless,
the plea of the forgotten,
the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother,
Help me to be less afraid
to trust the voice inside —
in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit,
for your voice —
in busyness and in boredom,
in certainty and doubt,
in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen.
—Adapted by John Veltri, SJ, as published in Hearts on Fire: Praying with the JesuitsPlease share the Good Word with your friends!