Friday after Epiphany
"Lord if you wish, you can make me clean. Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him and said, I do will it. Be made clean. And the leprosy left him immediately." I think the key elements of this story are the person's faith in Jesus, the willingness of Jesus to heal and Jesus' touch. Maybe the most important element is Jesus' touch, his willingness to be connected with someone who is unclean by the standards of culture, society and religion.
Today whether we are talking about our culture, society or even our church the usual response is to disconnect ourselves from someone defined as unclean. Yet, Jesus sought to be connected. He did not want to push them away from the community but to bring them into the community.
The Feast of the Epiphany which we celebrated last Sunday was about the universal nature of Christ's presence in the world. Jesus confirms that nature today by reaching out to one who has been pushed out of the community. It is a profound moment, it is a challenge to all of us who proclaim we believe. Do we wish, do we will that all belong to the community no matter what? Jesus does, and he was willing to step across a boundary to make sure that it happens. Are we?
Perhaps like Jesus it is a commitment to prayer that will help us to, wish it and will it. It is through prayer, our conversation with God, that we will find the strength to walk with Jesus across the boundaries imposed and bring others to the community, to friendship with God!
Have a great Friday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart!
Father Paul Fagan, C.P.