“If You Will, You Can Make Me Clean” by Fr. John Muscat, OFM

He died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and to make us clean from all our diseases and He was resurrected so that we will be living His saving victory over death – sin, here on earth and forever in heaven.

This Sunday you are encountering not just the healing power of Christ but also the mercy that goes with it and the justice, which God brings, for the fullness of the human being, whom he created in his perfect image. Healing for Jesus was not a problem as he is the author of life and the healer of all beings but the most interesting part of it is Christ touching the sick person. We are all touched by God through Christ in the holy sacraments of baptism, reconciliation and communion. We all carry in us the plan of salvation and mystical love of Christ to his Church, as we are the parts of this mystical body, which is the Holy Mother Church. The touch of Christ in our lives is to make us whole in body and soul, to bring peace and unity, to build families and societies and to let no one be isolated no matter who you are or what you do. WE ARE ALL THE FRUIT OF GOD’s LOVE.

Man was made to live in the society of his fellowmen. His nature needs the comfort and the sustaining support of his family and neighbours. To be isolated from them, to be compelled to live a life apart must be the hardest lot that could befall a human being. This was the sad lot of lepers at the time of the Old Testament and well into the New Testament days as well. Thanks to the progress of medicine and of Christian charity, there are hardly any cases of complete isolation today. There are cures for all infectious and contagious diseases, including most forms of leprosy, today. There are medical means of protection against infection and contagion which means that patients need not be in strict isolation. They can be visited and consoled by their relatives, friends and charitable neighbours, and their cross of suffering in loneliness is lightened for them.

There are, however, other cases of isolation not caused by any disease but rather resulting from lack of thought or lack of true fraternal charity on the part of men. There are elderly people in hospitals and in homes for the aged whose relatives are all dead and who have no one to visit them or to cheer them and help them to carry their cross. Here is an occasion for the true Christian to put his religion into practice. “I was sick and you visited me,” Christ says to the just on the last day. Yes, if we visit and console a fellowman, a brother of Christ, we are visiting and consoling Christ. There are, thank God, a few who practice this very necessary form of charity, but many more are needed.

There are also individuals and sometimes families in almost every community, who seem to be isolated or left coldly to themselves. It may be partly their own fault – they show no inclination to mix with their neighbours, they may even resent any intrusion on their privacy – but this does not excuse the truly Christian neighbour from trying to make such individuals or families feel at home and welcome in their neighbourhood. The charitable person will find ways and means of integrating such people into their local community, and of making life less solitary and therefore, more bearable for them.

“If you will, you can make me clean” was the prayer in faith of the leper. This is the only purpose for which Jesus was born for us, just to make us clean in HEART, BODY AND SOUL. He died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and to make us clean from all our diseases and He was resurrected so that we will be living His saving victory over death – sin, here on earth and forever in heaven.

Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for your loving healing touch today.

published on February 11, 2012, Parish Bulletin
More of Fr. John’s reflections

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