The 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.
Reflection: Once again, we have the image of falling prostrate before our Lord. This time it’s by a leper. But just this past week, as we celebrated the Epiphany, we were reminded of the three Magi from the East who also came to adore Christ and fell prostrate before Him.
Perhaps we all would like to see ourselves as the Magi, coming to seek out Christ as individuals who are prestigious and admired by others in society. The Magi would certainly have been seen that way. However, we should not fail to also see ourselves as similar to this leper who came to Jesus in his weakness and frailty, falling down before our Lord begging for mercy. We may not have leprosy, literally, but we do all come to Jesus sick and in need of His mercy and healing touch.
Notice what Jesus did. He “stretched out His hand, touched him,” and then healed him. Jesus did not hesitate, He did not treat the leper with any disdain, nor did He lack the least bit of compassion. Jesus immediately poured forth His healing grace into the leper’s life. We should follow Jesus’ lead!