“A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.”Matthew 8:2-3
Peace and good to all.
If my share my insights on the above gospel.
After reading the above quoted verse from the Bible, don’t you feel this kind of shame for being too imposing when you pray to God. Well, I do and it’s shameful.
Notice how we pray: we ask for this and that to come, we ask the Lord to grant this and that, and, worst, we even want our prayers and intentions in praying to be granted or answered as soon as possible. Pronto. Imposing and impatient, that’s how many of us when we pray. And, I am guilty of that too.
The leper in the gospel showed to us how we should pray and ask God on our wishes. “Lord, if you are willing…” We never opened or started our prayer wishes with that phrase “Lord, if you are willing..” The truth is, we always give to God the litany of our wishes and intentions in praying. We are so pre-occupied with the list of what to ask from God, that many times, we have forgotten to ask Him, if what we are asking from Him are good for us or proper in accordance of what He wills for us. Remember, God knows the innermost part of our heart, He knows what to happen even before we ask, and, yet, we are too imposing and impatient when we pray. The leper teaches us on how to approach Jesus in asking from Him.
The gospel gives us also the glimpse of the leper’s faith. The leper when he approached Jesus, asked him if Jesus is willing to make him clean. He did not ask that he be healed, but rather to make him clean. This shows his faith that Jesus could really medically heal him of leprosy, but to make him clean again, is for him to be forgiven of his sins in order to be accepted by his community again. People afflicted of leprosy during that time are regarded as unclean, that leprosy is a punishment of God for their sins, and are, therefore, to be isolated, away from the regular community.
When the leper asked Jesus if He is willing to make him clean, is also one way of saying that, he was asking for God’s forgiveness for his sins and that Jesus, as the messiah, can forgive him of his sins.
In other words, the leper, when he approached Jesus, he knew already that Jesus is the messiah, the one who can heal him, physically and spiritually. And, Jesus, with full of mercy and compassion, reached out and touched him and pronounced him to be clean.
When we ask God for mercy, for His help, for His protection, and so many things, can we be like the leper in the gospel, such that when we start to ask God for our needs, we always start it by saying, “Lord if you are willing..”