Karla (Spencer) Molina ’96

What are the things that I am ashamed of? What are the weaknesses that I hide? What keeps me away from God?

The leper in today’s gospel was a person who was on the margins of society. His disease meant that he could not live among his family and friends. People assumed that this condition was the result of his sinfulness or the sins of his ancestors. His infirmity defined him completely in the culture of his day. His physical weakness was a source of shame, but it did not prevent him from coming to the Lord. In fact, it was the occasion for him to recognize his need for healing and ask for it from Jesus.

The leper in today’s gospel shows us that we don’t come to God once we have everything sorted out and we feel presentable. We don’t wait for the exact right moment. We come to God in our weakness, in our need, and in all of our vulnerability.

The significance of Jesus’ gesture of healing in this gospel passage cannot be overstated. “Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, ‘I do will it. Be made clean.’” When Jesus reached out and touched a leper, he reached across every boundary of social expectation and shattered a foundational taboo in his time.

Do we believe Jesus can do the same for us? Can we accept our weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and, most of all, our sinfulness and ask Jesus for healing anyway? Do we trust that Jesus will reach out with love and heal us, too? Let us be like the leper in this reading and reach out to Jesus. We know that he will stretch out his hand with love, compassion, and healing.