For Friday of the Twelfth Ordinary Week of the Church Year
Today Jesus stretched out his hand, touched a man’s sick body, and gave a command: “Be made clean!”
“Be made clean!”— such words from Jesus have power beyond welfare of the body only.
Such words from Jesus are also salvation from SIN.
Because of this, Jesus also worked healings of the BODY by saying, “your SINS are forgiven.”
Today, after curing the man’s body, Jesus sent him to make the offering the Law of Moses required from one cleansed of leprosy.
The Law required him to make two sacrificial offerings.
One was a sacrifice of thanksgiving and worship.
The other was a sacrifice to ATONE for SIN.
When Jesus said to the kneeling leper, “Be made clean,” Jesus had the whole man in mind: clean to enjoy health of body, clean to feel joy, clean of sin.
Today at this altar, we join the kneeling leper to ask the Lord for health, joy, forgiveness, salvation, holiness, and even the everlasting resurrection.
In the end, it will all happen with our wills and our minds alive, full of thanks and giving glory to God.
Jesus wants all of that for us, just as he wanted it all for the leper.
The kneeling leper had said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Today, kneeling before the Lord at his altar, we shall echo the leper: “Lord ... only say the word, and I shall be healed.”
Then the Lord will reach out to touch us with his Body and his Blood, fulfilling what the prophet Isaiah said, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
He is the Lamb of God who takes upon himself the sins of the world.
Furthermore, Christ himself makes the two offerings the Law of Moses required of lepers.
Christ offers HIMSELF up as a sacrifice of THANKSGIVING— that being the literal meaning of “Eucharist”— and he offers himself up “so that sins may be forgiven.”
If we open ourselves to join Christ in the atonement and gratitude he offers to the Father, Christ will lead us away from hardness of heart.
Then we can be made clean of heart and ready for everlasting joy.