Readings for Friday June 26, 2009
First Reading: Genesis 17:1,9-10,15-22
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 128
Gospel: Matthew 8:1-4
When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I will do it. Be made clean." His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." (Matthew 8:1-4)
"MINE!" or "GIVE ME THAT!" These are classic shouts and demands that we often hear from young children. Their impulsive nature leads them to just take and demand things, instead of being patient and asking. Typically with the right instruction and modeling this behavior can go away, of course without instruction and guidance these children may turn into adults who display the same selfishness and demanding personalities of children. This kind of childish attitude is not the type of attitude that we should have as children of God.
The story of the leper today shows us the attitude and humility that we should have. The leper in today's gospel did not demand that Jesus cleanse him, he did not yell or shout and tell Jesus how much he deserved to be cleansed. This man simply recognized who Jesus was, and he said "thy will be done." The leper shows us today how we are to interact with God, how we are to pray and to know God. In our prayer lives most of us spend that time telling God what we want and all the things that He needs to do for us. In these moments we actually think that we are talking to God! Sadly, most of us are doing all the talking, and to be honest it really isn't talking ... it is demanding. We must not waste all of our time worrying, God certainly knows our needs and struggles. We must remember that He will take care of all our needs, we just need to be patient and trust in Him. This leper had probably been dealing with His disease for a long time, waiting and hoping to be healed. Then one day He comes across God Himself and there was his opportunity; but even then he did not take the attitude of a child, but instead told the Lord, "thy will be done."
Saint Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things." May we all be granted to grace to put aside childish things and become the men and women of God that we were created to be.
Father above we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, we are so thankful to you for all that you give and bless us with. Lord, help us never to take you for granted and to always seek your will with thanksgiving in our hearts. Lord, help us to always trust in you and be patient in your will. Help us to put aside childish things and follow you as the men and women that you created. We pray for all our priests and their ministries, and we pray for all the faithful in our world. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.