Jesus frequently used healings and miracles to support and emphasize his teaching of a New Law and a New Covenant. In the Gospel of Mark, for example, we hear early on of the healing of a leper. Lepers were ostracized from the community and were not even allowed to participate in worship; they were absolute outcasts from family and society in a truly profound way. So, being healed of leprosy meant being reunited with family, reunited with friends, and reunited with the People of God, being able to properly worship with the community in the Temple and synagogues.
“A leper came to [Jesus] and kneeling down begged him and said, ‘If you wish, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, [Jesus] stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, ‘I will do it. Be made clean.’ The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.” (NAB, MK 1:40-42) We are all in need of cleansing, and our faith reminds us that we can turn to our most merciful and forgiving Savior at any time, and he’s there, waiting for us, ready to give us the gift of renewal and reconciliation. The depth of our sins is insignificant in the presence of the power of God’s grace; his infinite love for us provides immediate rescue when we call upon him in faith.
When is the last time you knelt down and begged Jesus to make you clean? It takes humility and faith to admit our sins and confess them, and it takes the strength and courage that come only from God’s grace to keep us from sin in pursuit of holiness and sanctity. We are each called to be a saint; we are called to unity with our Lord in a perfection that can only be accomplished because of the Sacrifice and Passion of God’s Only Begotten Son. We are made perfect through his perfection, and we are made holy through his sanctifying life.
Lord, Jesus, “if you wish, you can make me clean.” Open my mind and reveal to me my sins, that I may honestly and openly confess them with a most contrite heart. I desire nothing less than you, and you desire nothing less than my salvation. Give me a truly sorrowful heart for all of my offenses, and give me your grace, so that I may change my life and pursue the life of holiness to which I am called. Amen.