THEME: SPIRITUAL LEPROSY CAN BE CURED
READINGS: 2 Kings 5:14-17/ 2 Tim. 2:8-13/ Luke 17:11-19
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Naaman was cured of his leprosy (2 Kings 14-17); and Jesus cured ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Judging by our physical appearance and health, we may not be lepers. We may, however, be spiritual lepers. There is good news for us, though: Jesus can cure spiritual leprosy as well!
Sin is spiritual leprosy. As physical lepers are quarantined for fear of spreading the infectious disease, so sin (spiritual leprosy) creates a distance between us and God. As leprosy disfigures a person physically, so sin disfigures us in spirit. That is, we become no longer the ‘image and likeness’ of the All-holy God – we become something else. As physical leprosy makes its victims lose their fingers, toes, etc., so sin makes us lose ‘parts’ of our souls. Though a soul is not a quantitative but a qualitative entity, it might be instructive to imagine that because of our sins, some of us are ½, ¼, 1/10, etc. of the original souls God created for us.
This notwithstanding, there is good news for us: Jesus Christ wants to restore the wholeness of our fractioned souls. However, He wants us to play a part in the process of restoration – it is a simple task. In the case of Naaman, he was told to wash seven times in the Jordan. He refused initially; however, when he later accepted (with faith) the instruction of the prophet Elisha and washed in the Jordan, the result was amazing! It was more than a full restoration of his adult skin: his skin became ‘like that of a little child’! In the case of the ten lepers in the Gospel, Jesus gave this simple instruction: ‘Go and show yourself to the priest’ (Luke 17:14). By accepting the instruction with faith, they were healed on their way.
Let us also accept (with faith) the instruction of the Lord Jesus, and go and show ourselves to the priest at the confessional. Then, the damaged ‘skins’ (quality) of our souls will be restored to their original status – they will become like the pure and innocent souls of children. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis