Friday after Epiphany
First Letter of Saint John 5:5-13; Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20 & Luke 5:12-16
Needless to say, leprosy is an awful disease. Photographs cannot capture the dreadful decay of human flesh. Throughout recorded history, fear of contagion has led to enforced isolation for the sufferers of leprosy. We can look at today's Gospel narrative and feel compassion, but we could never truly identify with it. Well, maybe we can.
What if we replace leprosy's physical disease with our particular maladies; both physical and psychological.
Our medical professionals use various means to diagnose the nature of diseases.
As we get older, we may be blessed with medical issues that amount only to simple aches and pains. As a result, two ibuprofen and a heating pad may be all we would need to relieve our discomfort. How then are our spiritual maladies diagnosed and treated?
I suspect if you ask a priest this question, he would simply say, "You must examine your conscience."
When we examine our conscience to acknowledge our sins, we have taken the first step toward spiritual wellness. The next step is to have the moral courage to confess our sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The final two remedies are penance and reception of the Holy Eucharist.
After the recovery of health, the leper in today's Gospel reported to a priest and returned to family and community. After experiencing contrition, as I have recommended, we are reconciled with God and with the community. The gift of healing enables us to relieve the suffering of our spiritual aches and pains and acquire a clean bill of spiritual health.
Question of the Day: Will you allow Jesus to heal you through the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Prayer: "Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people." Amen.