In the Gospel reading at Mass this weekend, a leper came to Jesus, kneeled down, and begged Him, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus was moved with pity, and stretched out His hand to touch the leper. He said, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
Scripture says, “The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.”
Nowadays we take our health problems to medical doctors, who, all in all, do a pretty good job of curing our afflictions and illnesses. The vast majority of us would never think of bringing our physical problems to Jesus, figuring that a doctor would be much more effective. On the one hand, this is understandable. I mean, if I accidentally cut my hand with a table saw, I would head straight for the emergency room rather than my parish rectory. (Besides, my pastor would have a fit if I gushed blood all over the carpeting.) In this case, I’m sure it would be God’s will that I seek out a trained doctor rather than have a clergyman pray over my bleeding hand.
I don’t remember the exact details, but a number of years ago a family in Massachusetts refused to bring their sick child to a doctor, convinced that prayer alone could cure him. A bowel obstruction, which could have been fixed easily by surgery, ended up killing the youngster. There’s no way this course of action was God’s will. Those folks were very foolish.
On the other hand, many people today assume that physical healings via spiritual means are impossible. We think God is either not capable or not interested, even to the point of thinking that the miracles described in Scripture are merely fables.
This, too, is a foolish point of view. God is the master physician. He created us. He is capable of curing us. The spiritual gift of healing did not die out with the first century believers. There is far too much evidence and far too many eye-witness accounts, simply to dismiss the power of prayer. People have been miraculously cured through prayer.
Although medical science has made remarkable advances, there are a couple of diseases doctors have been unable to cure. Medical science is powerless to address the diseases of sin and death.
Oh sure, we try to deal with these aliments. We pretend there is no such thing as sin, and we completely ignore death. But refusing to face these problems does not make them go away.
Sin is like spiritual cancer. If left unchecked, it eats away at our soul until we are no longer recognizable. And death, of course, is always lurking out there, waiting to snatch each and every last one of us away from this life.
The only physician who can heal us of these deadly diseases is Dr. Jesus. Only He has the power truly to forgive our sins and make us clean, and get us into Heaven for all eternity.
In the Gospel reading, it says the leper was cleansed “immediately.” Jesus has the power to transform our lives instantly. He can forgive our sins and make us new creations, filled with joy and peace, and destined for Heaven.
Unlike what many people believe these days, prayers for physical healing are powerful and often result in miraculous cures. Dr. Jesus has the power to cure us, just as He did with the leper. And with this particular physician, there’s no crowded waiting room, no mountain of paperwork and insurance forms, and no cash co-pay before He looks at you.
Give it a try sometime. Make an appointment with Dr. Jesus. Pray for healing, both physical and spiritual. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.