(Part 22)




January 11, 2013


Today’s readings:

1 John 5:5-13

Luke 5:12-16


John says that the testimony of the Spirit, the water and the blood (1 Jn 5:7-8) is this: “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 Jn 5:11). In other words, BE.LI.EV.E! We will enter into eternal life if we believe in Jesus. To believe in Jesus is to be his friend, to live his way, and to evangelize in his name. To have faith in Jesus is to meet him, to live him, and to share him.

This was the experience of the leper. He first met Jesus and entered into a relationship with him. Thus “when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him” (Lk 5:12b). The leper got to know Jesus as Lord, as he said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” (Lk 5:12c). The leper had faith. In turn Jesus said, “I will do it.” (Lk 5:13b). The leper had become a friend of Jesus.

Then Jesus healed the leper. Jesus said, “‘Be made clean.’ And the leprosy left him immediately.” (Lk 5:13c). From a life a serious illness that made him an outcast from the community of God’s people, the leper was made clean. And he would be restored to God’s people after he had shown himself to the priest and gone through the proper ritual (Lk 5:14b). To live Christ is to be restored to God and to fullness of spiritual health as God’s child. To live Christ is to be brought back to the Church, to the fellowship of God’s people.

Now Jesus “ordered him not to tell anyone” (Lk 5:14a), because his time had not yet come. But either the leper, out of gratitude and joy, did not obey, or others who had witnessed the miracle spread the word. “The report about him spread all the more” (Lk 5:15a). The wonderful action of God in our lives are to be spoken of, to give glory to God. The good news is to be proclaimed, to bring more souls back to God. We are to share Christ.

What is the result of all that? It is this: “great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments” (Lk 5:15b). Many more people would meet Jesus and get to know him. Many more would be healed of their physical and spiritual afflictions and begin to live his way. And all of them would become enthusiastic proclaimers of the gospel. The good news of salvation in Jesus would be proclaimed throughout the whole world.

Jesus conquered death, and it is he who brings us from death to life, and will bring us ultimately to eternal life. “Whoever possesses the Son has life” (1 Jn 5:12a). Jesus won the victory on the cross, and it is he who allows us to participate in that victory as we proclaim him to the world. “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn 5:5).


BE.LI.EV.E! Be a friend of Jesus, live the way of Jesus, evangelize in the name of Jesus. Then enter into eternal life. “I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 Jn 5:13).


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