Friday, June 28, 2013

The Power of A Leper's Belief

How many times do you think it has happened to you that you have read or heard read the story about a leper who had learned about Jesus and was completely convinced that Jesus, if he wished,  was capable of healing the terrible skin torture, Hansen's Disease?  Already 72 years old, it seems to me that it is one of those stories told to me since I was a young man.

There is no doubt in my mind that the event is truly one story that has taught me about trust in Jesus Christ.  Imagine what might happen in today's world, in our culture, if someone with an incurable disease believed that a similar event might be possible for him/herself.  But where would he/she find Jesus?  To whom could the sick person go?  Who is there today to whom a sick person can place the question "If you can, would you heal me?"

Obviously Jesus is not present among us as he was in the gospel days.  But he is among us in the Eucharist, in the celebration of the Liturgy.  We have Jesus in our own hands every time we pick up a bible.  We can hear him speaking to us in the various writings of the New Testament.  So, it is not that there is no divine presence among us.

The challenge for us today is simply this:  do I believe in Jesus and his power to heal?  Am I convinced that I can approach him today as if he is here among us as he was for the leper whose actions are his way of teaching up what it means to trust Jesus, regardless of the circumstances confronting us.