Friday, January 10, 2014

Jesus cleanses a leper

"Now there was a man full of leprosy* in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean. ”And the leprosy left him immediately."  (Luke 5: 12 - 13)

In the Bible and Christian tradition, mortal sin is seen as leprosy of the soul.  While leprosy is an external and horrible disease, mortal sin reproduces similar effects on the soul but is invisible to human eyes.  The leper horribly disfigured by his disease is rejected by society. On his part, he  tends to hide himself for shame of his condition.  The person that goes about with a leprous soul may mingle in society and shows no outward sign of his interior disposition. But he enjoys no peace and is tormented by a relentlessly fighting conscience.

Jesus Christ says to the leper in the above scripture, “I do will it. Be made clean.”  He then stretched out His hand, touched the man and he was healed instantly.  In His public ministry, Jesus Christ has taught by word and example that the life of a soul is more important than flesh and blood.  God in His mercy continues to use medical science to heal our  bodies.  But for  our souls, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession/Penance to heal the soul burdened and leprous with mortal sin.

When the penitent hears this words after his Confession, "I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," It is Christ Himself who speaks in the person of the priest.  The effect is the same as we see in Luke 5: 12 -13: ”And the leprosy left him immediately."  (Luke 5: 12 - 13)  This is the effect of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, one of the seven Sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ and bequeathed to His Church by which He continues the work of salvation on earth.  Through the power of Christ operating through the words of the priest in the Sacrament of Confession, souls are cleansed instantly and freed from the leprous pollution.  Angels and saints rejoice in heaven.  The Church welcomes back the sinner with sincere embrace and the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are magnified.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

We can overcome the world

"For whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith."  (1 John 5: 4)

A big and bold claim:  We can overcome the world!  If the promise that we can overcome the world is not in the word of God, I would have dismissed the claim.  But indeed, we can overcome the world because God  says so.  We cannot overcome the world by our own strength or from borrowed strength from the world, but through faith in the power that comes from God Himself.

Father, give us the faith that overcomes the world.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

God has given us the Holy Spirit

"This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit." (1 John 4: 13)

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love."  (1 John 4: 18)

The Lord said to me:  “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”  I rejoiced when I heard these words in my spirit O Lord.  I will remember your  indwelling Spirit as I go about my business today.  I will not be afraid of anything because of your word.  If I forget O Lord, whisper into my ears, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Jesus knows their deepest needs

"When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things."  (Mark 6: 24)

Jesus was moved with pity for the welfare of those who followed Him seeking to hear the word of God.  When we seek Jesus, we shall find Him.  When we knock on His door, He shall open for us.

The wise old man in gave this testimony worthy of notice:

"Neither in my youth, nor now in old age
have I seen the righteous one abandoned
or his offspring begging for bread."  (Psalm 37: 25)

If you follow Jesus, trust Him for your welfare and all your provisions.  Jesus knows your deepest needs.

Monday, January 06, 2014

We receive from Him whatever we ask

"He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people."

We see here the exercise of two ministries of Jesus:  healing every disease and teaching the people about the Kingdom of God.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He is still in the business of healing and teaching. To enjoy the fruits of the ministries of Jesus, faith is still a necessity as it was yesterday and today and forever.

Lord Jesus heal your people.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Magi recognized Jesus by faith

"They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh."  (Matthew 2:  10 - 11)

When the magi saw the Child Jesus and Mary, they prostrated themselves and did Him homage.  They recognized Him as a Divine King.  They were not ashamed or hesitated to adore and worship Him.  The magi were kings in their own rights.  God who moved their hearts to make the long and often treacherous journey to see His Son guided them through a star and gave them the faith to recognize Jesus even though disguised as a humble child of humble parents in a humble home.

The priestly class did not recognize Jesus when He was brought to the temple for presentation to God.  But He was recognized by Simeon and Anna through faith.

While the leaders of the people stood close to the cross on Calvary to mock Jesus and gloat in His pains and weakness, the Good Thief suffering the same fate as Jesus recognized Him as the Son of God.

In this side of eternity, we can only recognize Jesus through faith.  "For we walk by faith, not by sight."  (2 Corinthians 5: 7)