HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME.
THEME: If you want to, you can cure me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’
BY: Fr. Deotacious Chikontwe SMA.
SAINTS OF THE DAY: Memorial of the Holy First Martyrs.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Good morning dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate Friday of week 12 in Ordinary Time, Year A. And in a special way, today, the Church celebrates the Memorial of the Holy First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church, commemorating all those who have perished in the great persecutions of the Christians in Rome, at the heart of the Roman Empire, also the heart of Christendom, during the time of the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero.
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
In our first reading today, the Lord told Abraham that he would have a son through Sarah, his wife, and at the same time, He also reassured him that He would still bless and take care of Ishmael, for he is after all still Abraham’s son. Abraham believed in the Lord and that was why God made His Covenant with him and his descendants, for all the faithfulness which Abraham had shown, in his commitment and dedication to Him, despite the uncertainties and the wait that he had to endure in expecting his heir, and in the other hardships and challenges that he had to go through.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
Lepers in the time of Jesus were the untouchables. They could not be touched for fear of contagion; through touch, their disease could pass to other members of the community. The community protected itself by ensuring that lepers lives apart, with only other lepers for company. In this morning’s gospel, however, Jesus did not hesitate to touch the leper. He would not be contaminated by the leper’s touch. Rather, his touch would heal the leper. The leper had approached Jesus with the, understandably, very tentative request, ‘If you want to, you can cure me’. However, there was nothing tentative about Jesus’ response, ‘Of course I want to’.
The gospels reveal a Jesus who does not hesitate to touch our lives, even the most unattractive parts of our lives. The risen Lord has no fear of being contaminated by us; he does not avoid the murkiness of our lives. He enters fully into the dark and forbidding places of our personal and communal lives, with his healing and life-giving presence. His passionate concern for our well-being knows no barriers. The Lord wants to touch our lives as they are, not as they should be or could be. All that is required for him to do that is for us to approach him with the same determination as the leper.
Like the holy martyrs whose memorial, we venerate today, let us always be filled with faith and love. May the Lord be with us all through out this weekend!
Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA.
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