Readings for Thursday January 13, 2011
First Reading: Hebrews 3:7-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 95
Gospel: Mark 1:40-45
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. (Mk:1:40-45)
In today's first reading from the book of Hebrews, we are told of the hardness of heart that the early Israelites in the desert had with God and Moses after their flight from Egypt. It is written that they continuously provoked the Lord and hardened their hearts to Him when during this trial in the desert. Because of their provoking and hardened hearts, that generation of stubborn people was not permitted to enter the land in which they were promised.
in today's gospel, we read about the leper, who does not ask Christ to prove that He is the son of God or demand to heal him. He comes to Jesus and submits to His will and says "If you wish, you can make me clean." The leper in today's gospel teaches us about having an open heart to God and to surrendering ourselves to Him. He did not come to Jesus making demands, asking for proof of power, or even complaining of his illness. No, this man brought himself before the Lord, and said "let your will be done."
I believe that many times our hearts do become hardened to the Lord because we tend to think like the early Israelites did, and focus too much on what we want and our own discomfort, instead of what the Lord has planned for us. I pray that we can all have open hearts to God's will and that we can all humble ourselves as the leper did today and just say to God, "let your will be done."
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to have open hearts to you and to your will in our lives. Lord, we thank you for all that we are and all that we have in this life. Lord, help us to follow you more closely in our life and to surrender to you each and every day, so that we might come to know your love more deeply. We pray for all those who are seeking you in their lives, may their hearts be softened to your light. we ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.