YEAR A: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
HOMILY THEME: GO & SHOW YOURSELF TO THE PRIEST!
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY: * 1 Jn 5 : 5 – 13, Lk 5 : 12 – 16.
Leprosy was considered more in the Old Testament as a state of uncleanness than as a disease. It was seen as a punishment sent by God for some serious sin, example in the case of Miriam, Num 12 : 1 – 16 and Gehazi, 2 Kg 5 : 20 – 27.
In today’s 1st reading, we see the new dispensation for healing and salvation : ‘Who is he that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? He came through water, blood and the spirit as 3 witnesses of our salvation’. As Naaman was cured through the sacramental washing by water, the scriptures foreshadow the future cleansing powers of the waters of baptism. As the Rivers of Egypt turned into blood by the power of Moses as a proof of their forthcoming deliverance from Pharaoh, so does the blood of Jesus Christ deliver us from all sorts of occultic powers in the new dispensation. As Mariam’s leprosy was cleansed by the words of absolution from the spirit of Moses, the priest of the Old Testament, so does Christ send lepers to priests in the New Testament for absolution.
The almighty question today is : How do we apply ourselves humbly to Christ for his mercy? The humility of the leper in today’s gospel is arresting. He said : ‘If you are willing you can make me clean’. Yes, Christ is willing! Of course, there is no sin which he has not atoned for by His blood and there are no problems which he cannot solve. But sometimes we do not understand the required journey to our healing and follow it. Many sick people do not ask themselves ‘What journey does Christ want me to follow in order to be healed? Christ may decide to heal us through the hands of a priest, or a medical practitioner or a psychotherapist or through our personal / communal prayers or through an adoration centre. He may even want us to carry the sickness as a cross as in the case of St Paul, 2 Cor 12 : 7 – 9. Whatever is the case, always remember that when in a state of uncleanness, you must ‘go and show yourself to the priest’.
May God bless you today!