An Epidemic of Leprosy

“A leper approached Him with a request.” —Mark 1:40

Our society and churches are filled with lepers. These people don’t have physical leprosy, which is Hanson’s disease, but the spiritual leprosy of self-hatred. They continually “cry out ‘Unclean, Unclean!’ ” (Lv 13:45) They do things to turn people away from them. They even tell God to stay away from them. They wallow in depression and degrade themselves through self-destructive compulsions such as overeating, alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, addiction to TV and handheld electronic devices, sexual promiscuity, pornography, masturbation, gossip, etc.

Only one Person can cure spiritual leprosy — Jesus. In our leprous condition, we must kneel down and make an act of faith in Jesus, saying: “If You will to do so, You can cure” us (Mk 1:40). He will have mercy on us, stretch out His hand, touch us, and say: “I do will it. Be cured” (Mk 1:41). Then God’s grace can begin to free us from years of self-hatred and self-destruction. We will no longer be degraded by the tyranny of doing what feels good. We will be truly free and fully alive.

Then we should testify to our healing to whomever the Lord leads us. These people may also be lepers. They may have been discouraged by the lepers in their family and church. By sharing our healing, we will open them to Jesus. They will no longer tell Jesus to stay away from them, but will let Him touch them.

PRAYER: Father, may I repent of self-hatred and let Jesus touch me in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

PROMISE: “Whether you eat or drink — whatever you do — you should do all for the glory of God.” —1 Cor 10:31

PRAISE: To You, risen Lord Jesus, be highest glory and praise for ever. Alleluia!

(From a reflection by a member of the editorial team of the late Fr Al Lauer’s Presentation Ministries)

John Portelli

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