In today’s Gospel, we are presented with a powerful narrative of a man afflicted with leprosy, an outcast from society, who approaches Jesus with a humble plea, saying, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” As we delve into this passage, let us explore the profound attitudes of humility and trust displayed by this leper, drawing inspiration for our own prayer lives.
Firstly, the leper exhibits an extraordinary sense of humility. “Kneeling down, he begged him,” revealing an attitude of profound respect. In our own worship, we can draw parallels to the humility expressed through kneeling, such as during the Consecration in the Mass and genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament. This man acknowledged the greatness of the One before him, recognizing the need for reverence in the presence of the Divine.
Moreover, this man demonstrated a deep awareness of his infirmity. Realizing he could not cure himself, he humbly admitted his need for help. This acknowledgment of vulnerability and dependence is a crucial aspect of humility, reminding us that true healing often begins with an honest recognition of our limitations.
The leper’s humility is further evident in the manner in which he “begged” for healing. Unlike a demand or entitlement, his plea was a humble request, acknowledging that healing is not a right but a freely given gift. This posture of humility demonstrates a surrender of pride, opening the door to the mercy of Jesus.
Secondly, the leper has an attitude of trust. This attitude shines through in his acknowledgment of the authority and power of Jesus. Beyond a demonstration of respect, this acknowledgment signifies a profound faith in the power of Christ and, ultimately, in His Divinity. The leper recognizes Jesus not merely as a healer but as the source of true cleansing and restoration.
Moreover, the leper’s trust is evident in the fact that he doesn’t approach Jesus with a demand for healing as a right but places himself entirely at the mercy of Jesus. His plea is not presumptuous; instead, it is a beautiful acknowledgment of Jesus’ sovereignty over his life. In embracing this attitude of surrender, the leper displays a deep trust in the wisdom and benevolence of Jesus.
Furthermore, the leper’s trust is highlighted in his recognition that the decision rests entirely with Jesus – “If you wish.” This acknowledgment that healing is subject to the divine will is crucial in our own prayer lives. It reflects an understanding that God, in His infinite wisdom, knows what is best for us, and our trust lies in His sovereign plan, even when it may not align with our immediate desires.
In conclusion, as we reflect on the leper’s humility and trust, let us strive to incorporate these attitudes into our own prayer lives.
Let’s always start our prayer with an act of humility, a recognition of our smallness, our need for healing, and an awareness of God’s greatness. But, at the same time, let us approach the Lord with great trust in his power, surrendering to his Divine Will, putting ourselves in his loving arms, telling him, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Finally, if this is a good disposition for prayer, it is also an excellent disposition for the reception of the Sacraments. In my experience, this is a beautiful way of receiving Holy Communion. As we walk today towards the Priest to receive our Lord, let us repeat with the leper, with humility and trust, “if you wish, you can make me clean.” Then, the Lord will pour his mercy on us, and we will hear the blessed words, “I do will it. Be made clean.”