Cleansing a Leper (Mt 8:1-4)
O Jesus, help me to believe that you can cleanse me.
Picture Jesus cleansing the leper.
Jesus has just finished his great discourse on the mountain. As he descends, he quickly encounters the real-life difficulties of illness, diabolical possessions and storms at sea. In this story, the leper’s actions and words show a great faith that allows Jesus to heal.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. Suddenly, a leper came to Jesus. Kneeling down he said, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus had compassion on him. He stretched out his hand and, touching him, said, “I will. Be made clean.”
When he had said these words, the leprosy left him and he was made clean. Jesus said to him very strictly, “Tell no one. Go, show yourself to the high priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed. That will be proof for them.”
However, the leper went out and told everyone. So, the word went forth. As a result, Jesus could not go openly into a city, but he stayed in desert places. Yet, they came to him from everywhere.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The leper has seen others who were healed and the leper is stirred to faith. He, too, can be cleansed.
- Jesus shows deep human feelings of compassion to the leper’s condition.
- Jesus comes close. He touches the leper, confident that his power is greater than the illness.
- His power goes forth quickly. He uses just a simple word, “Be clean.”
- The leper is like a newly baptized convert, wanting to tell the world what has happened.
- Even when Jesus remains in deserted places, the crowds find him. They know the power of God is in their midst.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Lord Jesus, you have great power. I believe. Please make me clean.
- O Jesus, you always have compassion for me.
- You come close. You touch me. You make me whole.
- After you cleanse me, I will begin a new life.
- My tongue will not be silent. I will tell everyone. I will proclaim your mighty deeds. Then, others will believe and search for you.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ No matter what my illness (moral or physical) I will believe that Jesus can make me clean.
+ I will be God’s witness, telling others of Jesus’ cleansing actions upon me.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
If you will it, you can make me clean.