(Part 23)




January 17, 2013

Today’s gospel: Mark 1:40-45



Jesus cleanses the leper. Here we see: (1) Jesus wants to heal and cleanse us. We do not have to kneel down and beg (Mk 1:40a). Jesus is quite emphatic and determined. “I do will it. Be made clean.” (Mk 1:41b). (2) Jesus has the power to follow through on his desire. He can and will work wonders and miracles. “The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.” (Mk 1:42). We also see how the leper could not contain his gratitude and joy, so that even with Jesus “warning him sternly” (Mk 1:43) to “tell no one anything” (Mk 1:44a), he “went away and began to publicize the whole matter.” (Mk 1:45a).

Today Jesus desires to continue to heal and cleanse people, and he has the power to do so. But today Jesus relies on his people, us, to be his voice, hands and feet. If we do, then as instruments who believe in him, we can do the works that he does, and even greater works that those. If we do not, then the world remains in darkness and people remain in their sins and illnesses. God will not work in any other way but through His people.

The point I would want to emphasize is this. The leper “spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.” (Mk 1:45b). The people who heard his testimony were so touched and impressed that Jesus could no longer just move around freely. People would mob him and insist on relating to him. “He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.” (Mk 1:45c). Even as he avoided the populated areas, people went out of their way to go to him. From everywhere.

And so people heard the good news of the Kingdom. And so people were healed. And so people met and were touched by the Messiah.


And all these today depend on people like us, the disciples of Jesus, those whom he commissioned to proclaim the good news of salvation in him. If we evangelize and introduce people to Christ so that they can begin to live in him, then people will be healed, transformed and saved. If we do not evangelize, then people will remain in their sins and not experience salvation.

Do we wish to make people clean? I pray that we can say, like Jesus and in his name, with great conviction and a sense of urgency, “I do will it.” If so, then go and evangelize.


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