In the Gospel of Mark 1:40-45 a leper comes to Jesus and pleads with Him on his knees for the healing of his leprosy. Shunned by the crowd, crushed in spirit, he bows low before the God whom he knows has the discernment to understand his anguish of soul and body. In utter humility he places the outcome of their encounter in the hands of God, ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’ A wisdom born of a life of faith and suffering have schooled his soul in the ways of God. He believes that Jesus wishes to fulfill his messianic mission of wholeness and to offer him fullness of life today. The words.’ I have come that you may life and have it to the full’ John 10:10 echo in his soul as he steps forward.
Jesus’ affirmative response to his request is without hesitation; There are no ‘ifs, buts or other conditions place on his loving, compassionate response, ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured.’ Scars of soul and body are immediately healed, and the man is sent on his way to fulfill the prescription of Moses as evidence of his recovery.
Unable to contain his joy the man breaks the silence requested by Jesus and begins to tell all whom he meets of his encounter with the Lord. In so doing, ‘the Almighty who has done great things’ for him is glorified and people who previously shunned him are now invited to a deeper faith in the living God.
As a new year unfolds, we too are asked to fall humbly on our knees and place the many forms of social and moral leprosy that plague our world before God. May we stretch out our wounded hearts, broken lives and trembling spirits so that all people may hear the same liberating words, ‘Be cured.’ May peace enfold our world. May God be glorified this day and always. Amen.