Week After Epiphany
Reading: 1 Jn 5:5-13
Gospel: Lk 5:12-16
One day in another town, a man came to Jesus covered with leprosy. On
seeing him he bowed down to the ground, and said, "Lord, if you want
to, you can make me clean."
out his hand, Jesus touched the man and said, "Yes, I want it. Be
clean." In an instant the leprosy left him. Then Jesus instructed
him, "Tell this to no one. But go and show yourself to the priest.
Make an offering for your healing, as Moses prescribed; that should be
a proof to the people."
But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and large crowds came to
him to listen and be healed of their sickness. As for Jesus, he would
often withdraw to solitary places and pray.
To appreciate what Jesus is doing here, remember the fear and horror of
leprosy in the time of Jesus when it was an incurable, contagious disease,
a passport to separation from loved ones and exclusion from society. Yet
Jesus touches the leper. He heals lovingly and personally, yet discreetly,
quietly, not drawing attention to himself. Constantly, he goes aside to
pray, returning to his source and center, rekindling his longing to bring
us also to that center, that we might share his relationship of intimate,
loving union with the Father.