A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 5:12-16
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, " Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean." And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but "Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray. The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: " Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." "I do will it. Be made clean."
No one who approached Jesus was refused his help. Even the leper who prayed to him was healed. He was considered an untouchable, "dead" by society's standards, an outcast.
What courage for this one leper and how strong was his faith. He came near Jesus, confidently and humbly knowing that he could heal him. The leper conceded his will, his wishes, his desires to Jesus. The Jewish law forbade him from coming near people. He would have been stoned if he had asked a rabbi for assistance. But, Jesus, hearing his plea, with pity and compassion granted his prayer. Jesus did not need to touch the leper. But he touched him, (against the norm of Jewish law and society) giving him the personal contact he had been banished from. His touch was an invitation for the leper to join Jesus and his family. And what beautiful resounding words from Jesus, "I will: be clean."
How do we approach those who are unloveable? I am speaking of the tough to love, those who annoy us, those who drive us absolutely crazy, those who say sly insults, manipulate our wills, lives or personal space with their silent anger, or their moodiness?
How do we approach the unapproachable? I am speaking of the ones we annoy, those who find it hard to love us.
How do we approach the drug addict, the mentally ill, the old stroked person who drools, the homeless who "smells" and is dirty and filthy? How do we approach those with physical or mental weaknesses?
We are all lepers. We all belong to one of the above groups. Can we imitate Jesus? Approach them with mercy, compassion, love and tender kindness.