In the Gospel we hear that a leper came up to Jesus and asked for healing. We are told that Jesus felt sorry for the man. There were, of course, many lepers in Israel, and many more elsewhere but this miracle is highlighted by St Mark because he wishes to show that Jesus is healing someone for whom he feels compassion. Jesus’s miracles show his power but, in fact, the crowds who witnessed these miracles do not, in general, have faith – their response is one of wonder, but it goes no further than that.
The important thing here is to note Jesus’ compassion because this compassion is for us too. We know that Jesus is the Son of God and that he has the power of God, but power does not necessarily help us, personally. On the other hand, this is precisely what Jesus does do. We must not allow ourselves simply to be onlookers as Jesus helps others.
We must think of him in relation specifically to us. This is not just
about us drawing up list of our needs that we want Jesus to help us
with. Jesus loves us and we must love him if we to enter the fulness of
faith. Lepers had to be separate from others for fear of
contamination. We must realize that we all need healing from what
hinders our interactions with others. It might be, for instance, a feeling
of unworthiness, proneness to intolerance or bad temper, fear of
being rejected, or needing to reconcile but being afraid to do so.
Jesus wants us to be free to love and to show his love to others. This
necessarily involves serving him in serving others. We may not be
particularly confidant people but when we know God is on our side
when we reach out to others, we can persevere in love – even as we
acknowledge our unworthiness.