A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 8:1-4
1 When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
2 And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
3 He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.
4 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.”
A leper in the time of Jesus and even in our time is shunned and even despised. So he is isolated. The leper, in our gospel, is confident Jesus has the power to heal him but he is not sure if the Lord is willing. He approaches Him nevertheless and pays Him homage. In humility, he uttered his supplication.
In the midst of many people, Jesus finds time to tend to the need of a nobody like the leper. He gives the leper divine attention, so to speak.
Imagine Jesus stretching His hand to touch the “untouchable” man and saying, “I will do it. Be made clean.”
Jesus never drives away anyone who approaches Him for help. The leper has no other hope to help Him except Jesus and He got his wish. He is healed!
Let us now turn to ourselves. In more ways than one, we are also unclean. By our sinfulness, we don’t deserve to be near to people, much less to God. Yet, we have no other hope except the Lord to heal us. Like the leper, we approach Jesus with humility and faith and ask Him to make us clean, whole and renewed.