Read Genesis 17:1,9-10,15-22, Ps. 128:1-5, Matthew 8:1-4

“Lord, if you will, you can make me clean” (Matthew 8:2)

For some time now, we have been listening to the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus. As St. Paul would say, faith comes from hearing God’s Word. While Jesus preached, many persons listened with rapt attention and were so touched that they approached Jesus for healing.

One of them is the leper who boldly said to Jesus: “Lord if you will, you can make me clean.” Even though he was a leper, his faith was stronger than his external condition. In other words, the leper did not allow his circumstance to determine the extent of his faith in God.

While the leper believed God could do anything, Abraham fell on his face and laughed when God told him that his wife Sarai would have a child. Abraham thought that God had already done his best with Ishmael. Like Abraham, we sometimes look at our external condition and assume what we have now is the best God can ever do. As long as we believe it, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Never doubt the power of God.

This leper said: “Lord if you will, you can….” In these words, the Leper echoed the words of the Lord’s Prayer: “You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39).

Like the Leper, Jesus asked for the cup to be lifted from him, but at the same time, only if it was the Father’s desire. Faith in God teaches us to beg from Him rather than command Him. In response, Jesus told the Leper: “I will. Be clean.” Instantly, the leprosy left him. Jesus commanded the leprosy to leave. Submit your cares to God and allow God to do the commanding. It is not in our place to command God.

The response of Jesus, “I will. Be clean”, is a great reassurance that regardless of our condition, God desires the very best for us. It is not the will of God to see any of His children sad, sick, hungry or suffering. Jesus said: “What man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or will he give him a serpent if he asks for a fish? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11)

And if we do not get what we pray for, it is not because God was incapable of doing it, neither is it the case that there is something wrong with our church or our pattern of prayer. It is simply because God has better plans for us. The challenge is accepting God’s plan just as Jesus did after He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, heal us from all our diseases and troubles. Grant us a deeper faith in you and the grace of humility when we approach you in prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of week 12 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Genesis 17:1,9-10,15-22, Ps. 128:1-5, Matthew 8:1-4).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu