Friday of the 12th Week of the Year

Matt 8:1-4

The Cleansing of a Leper


St. Irenaeus once said: “The glory of God is man’s fully alive.” Friends are you alive, fully alive? Remember, you are God’s glory! Jesus came to make us all alive! In today’s gospel He cured the leper, made him whole, made him alive – fully alive! We have only one life to live and we must live it to the full!

Have you heard of psychoneuroimmunology or PNI? Three words: psychology, neurology and immunology. According to this new science, our thoughts and feelings manifest on our body. What we think or feel has a corresponding hormone. If you are happy, “happy” hormones will come out. If you are sad the brain will secret “sad” hormones. Happy or positive hormones strengthen our immune system that will help us to become healthy, inspired, enthusiastic and fully alive!

Are you down? Are you sick? Is there anything bothering you right now? Come to Jesus, pay Him homage and say: “Jesus, if you want to do so, you can cure me.” Imagine Jesus stretching out His hand, touching you, saying: “I do will it. Be cured!” see Jesus removing all the “unhealthy and negative” hormones from your body.

All of us need healing – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. When was the last time you went to a medical doctor? Can you still remember your last confession? Do you really want to be healed? Forgive those people who hurt you and be humble enough to say sorry to those whom you’ve hurt. Even our society, the environment and the entire cosmos need healing. Yes, to be healed is to become fully alive! (Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


In his bestseller, The Shoes of the Fisherman, Morris West presents the fictional Pope Kiril I who leaves the Vatican at night incognito to meet his people in their real situation. He realized that beautiful sermons and theological Apostolic Letters alone will not touch people, in particular the suffering or those in miserable conditions.

“When Jesus came down from the mountain,” today’s gospel begins. What had He done in the mountain? He had just given the famous Sermon on the Mount and presented summary of His teaching with the new law of love at its center.

He did not stay on the mountain but went down to face the reality of life in its worst form: He met a leper, an outcast, a person whom the society thought to be punished by God for horrible sins. Jesus touched him and healed him. With a single gesture, He shattered the prejudices, misconceptions and barriers human society had constructed.

Leprosy in the Bible often stands for sin. We are all sinners and have experienced the healing touch of Christ when we approach Him in the Sacraments. The question is: Are we also ready to be His hands and touch the “lepers” in our society, those minorities which our mainstream society and churches refuse or are hesitant to touch?

It is so easy to remain on the “mountain,” to pray in church or spend some time in a charismatic prayer group. It is so easy to be holy there. But holiness is not reached in churches smelling of incense but rather where the “lepers” are waiting for our loving touch. On the “mountain” we receive what we need for the time we “go down” to the realities of daily life. Only when our daily life is not isolated and divorced from those moments “on the mountain” that it becomes the Eucharist, the “source and summit of our Christian life.” Thus we become the hands of Christ reaching out in compassion and love to those who need it most in our profit-oriented society. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


Because his son was critically ill, the father, a pastor, made an emergency call to the elders of his community. He asked them to pool their faith together and pray over the sick child. Even as they prayed, the mother was so apprehensive about the whole thing. She begged her husband to bring their son to a hospital. But her husband adamantly refused, believing that bringing their son to a doctor would show a lack of faith in God’s power. The child died. The wife sued her husband before a civil court, and eventually they separated.

Faith in God’s power does not mean a neglect of human processes. Scientific studies and discoveries in the fields of science and technology, for example, are human endeavours that naturally bring wellness into the world. Thus when we get sick, we should first seek help from natural means while asking for the Lord’s help. God’s power does not come when we simply and lazily await his “solution” to our problems. He needs our cooperation; He builds His grace upon nature and upon our efforts.

Jesus showed in the gospel today that healing depended also on the prescriptions of the Jewish laws. “Go and show yourself to the priest and offer gifts Moses prescribed,” Jesus said to the leper.

The same is true with the gift of salvation. We know that God’s grace will bring us salvation but he also asks us to open our hearts to Him and to others for us to receive this gift completely. (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


Coming from a family of very scarce resources, I grew learning some basic lessons in life. One of the lessons that I have received from my mother is that no matter how old my clothes might be, the important thing is they should always be clean and decent. Many times I inherited pants and T-shirts from my elder brothers, because my father could not buy new clothes for us all. However, my mother would never allow me to leave home with a stained shirt or greased pants, and she would inspect my school uniform every morning to make sure it was presentable. Early in life, there was already a growing sense of security, self-respect and pride in me.

We have Jesus in today’s gospel facing a leper who asks him to be made clean. Cleanliness at that time was not just about decent external appearance, but it was about being whole. Impurity was a reason to be excluded from the worshipping community; the more so when the body itself presented signs of any disease, a case in which the sick person remained isolated. To become clean is to be made whole again; and that is salvation. Let us meditate today on the different aspects of our being and try to acknowledge our personal need to be clean. Remember, security, self-respect and self-esteem will grow in us as we let Jesus make us whole. Then Jesus can say, “Show yourself and that will be proof for them.” (Fr. Marcelo Cattaneo, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


The Healing Power of Confession

June 26, 2015 (readings)

Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Shawn Aaron, LC

Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and in your love. I trust in you as the way for me to live. I hope in the power of your cross to free me from all that is not you. I love you and want my love to be more real so that I may imitate your pure and total love.

Petition: Lord, help me to turn from my sins.

  1. Lord, If You Wish, You Can Make Me Clean: Whenever we come to the sacrament of confession, we want the words of this humble leper to be on our lips: “Jesus, you can heal me from that which ails me, from my sin.” This leper’s act of faith is comparable to the Good Thief’s faith. While nailed to the cross next to Our Lord he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” In each case they see with eyes of faith beyond what the eyes of their body tell them. When we come to confess our sins with eyes of faith, we want to look beyond the priest to Jesus, the one who not only forgives our sins but heals our souls.
  2. He Stretched Out His Hand, and Touched Him: The Pharisees once asked the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11). Jesus is not afraid of my leprosy; he is not afraid of my sin. His love is simply more powerful than any person’s sin, no matter how grave. He is not afraid to be associated with sinners or to touch lepers. It was this same love that moved the Word to become “flesh and dwell among us” (John 1:14). By taking our human nature to himself he “stretched out his hand and touched us.” When we give Jesus our sins he nails them to the cross — and it is precisely at the cross that we discover two things: the true nature of our sin and the infinite love the prompts Jesus to touch us.
  3. I Do Will It. Be Made Clean: Jesus wants the leper to be healed; he likewise wants you and me to be healed, clean, whole. Through the hands of the priest, Jesus stretches out his own hand and bids us to be clean so that we may not remain in our sins. Sin knocks at the door of our lives, but thanks to Jesus we do not have to continue in it. When Jesus heals us, he also gives us the strength (grace) to stay healthy. He heals us so that we may freely walk with him and imitate him in our lives. But do I want to leave aside all my sin? What former leper would ever wish to return to his leprosy? Ultimately it is the heart that must be made clean by way of constant prayer, the sacraments and a genuine effort to do what we know is pleasing to God.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you know when I sit and when I stand. Before a word is on my lips you know the whole of it; with all my ways you are familiar (cf. Psalm 139). Help me to live in the light, correspond to your grace, and experience the healing joy that comes from friendship with you.

Resolution: This week I will go to confession, taking time to prepare myself well.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.


Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Mateo 8:1-4. Unsa man ang pinakalisod nga kahimtang sa tawo? Si Blessed Teresa nga taga Calcutta maoy nag-ingon: “Ang pinakagrabe nga sakit karon dili mao ang TB, dili pud sanla, kondili ang pagka-sinalikway, pagka-pinasagdan ug pagka-wala-higugmaa. Atong matambalan ang lawasnong sakit pinaagi’g medisina, pero ang pagka-masulob-on, pagka-desperado ug pagka-walay-paglaum matambalan lamang sa gugma. Daghang mga tawo ang gutom sa pan; apan daghan usab kaayo ang gutom sa pagtagad ug paghigugma.” Kining mga pulong ni Beata Teresa magdasig unta kanato sa pagsunod sa panig-ingnan ni Cristo nga nitugot sa usa ka sanlahon (sinalikway sa katilingban) sa pagduol ug pagpakig-estorya kaniya. Siya andam nga mohikam ug motagad sa tawo nga masakiton ug masulob-on. Posted by Abet Uy


“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.” (Mother Teresa of Calcutta) –


45* The garments of one afflicted with a scaly infection shall be rent and the hair disheveled,c and the mustache covered.d The individual shall cry out, “Unclean, unclean!” 46As long as the infection is present, the person shall be unclean. Being unclean, that individual shall dwell apart, taking up residence outside the camp. (Lev 13:45-46)


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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