Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
by Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta
Book of Genesis 18:1-15, Psalm – Luke 1:54b, & Matthew 8:5-17
“It’s okay to pray for something little, Jeffy. Everything’s little to God.”
There is a story of two women having a conversation. One was telling the other about her husband’s miraculous cure. One woman said to the other, “If it had not been for all the prayers of so many people, my husband would have died.” There were two other women standing close by. The one weeping softly to the other and says, “Why did my child die? I prayed and prayed. We all prayed. Did God not want my child to live? Are my prayers not as good as those of others?" What about the hundreds of thousands of children who starve to death each year because they don’t have enough to eat? Does God not hear our prayers to end wars, violence, religious persecution, and the horror of abortion? Where is God when we need Him most?
“He stretched out his hand, touched him…I will do it. Be made clean.”
As the eighth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel opens, Jesus has just finished the Sermon on the Mount. A number of miracles follow to prove the authority of His teaching; however, there is much more to come.
The Gospel narrative tells us the story of Jesus being confronted by a leper who is definitely in need of a miracle. Two thousand years after this encounter, we find that Leprosy or Hansen’s disease is curable and is not the feared disease it once was. In Jesus’ day, lepers were shunned as outcasts and were treated as less than animals.
We may face various difficult situations in our lives; a serious illness, marriage issues, a financial crisis, and so forth, but what do we do when these difficulties occur? Do we wait for a miracle or do we try to resolve the situation ourselves? There is obvious peril in either approach.
A spiritual principal urges prayer as if everything depends on God and action as if everything depends on us. Therefore, we must approach Jesus with the reverence of the leper, who paid him homage, and must also turn our request over to Him. We may even use the same words the leper did, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” This act constitutes true humility which is the realization of our dependence on God. The age of miracles continues in the healing touch of Jesus, sometimes upon our bodies, but more often upon our hearts.
Question of the Day: How will you identify your many blessings as the means by which God works in and through you?
Prayer: “Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases. Alleluia, alleluia.”