A Leap of Faith
Malvern Minute


January 11, 2018    Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people. Alleluia, alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.

Reflect: If you wish, you can make me clean. Being afflicted with leprosy, the man who approached Jesus in today’s Gospel was living a life of isolation and separation. The norms of his day prohibited him from coming near anyone who did not have leprosy. He was an outcast. Nonetheless, his heart is drawn to Jesus. He can’t contain himself with the possibility of a healing; yet “kneeling down” the leper “begged him” saying, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  The leper approached the Lord of Lords with great confidence and humility. He wasn’t ordering Jesus. He wasn’t insisting that God intervene in a certain way. He simply said, in other words, “I believe that you are capable of healing me, but I trust in your will. I surrender myself to you.” His posture and his words expressed the disposition of his heart. The man was experiencing a living hell, but he was willing to trust Jesus and accept his response. Jesus’ response was: “I do will it. Be made clean.” Then, “the leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.” Instantly, the man experienced a lifeline. He was drawn into a profound encounter with Christ and restored to an accepted place in society. The challenge for us today is to pray earnestly in faith with a disposition that is ready to thank God for whatever way our prayers are answered. That is scary. We know what we want, and we think that we know what we need. We think: “If I’m a good faith-filled person, surely God will answer my prayers as I’ve prescribed.” Jesus asks us to trust. He knows much better than us what it is we need. May we be willing to let go and let God handle our lives as he deems best for us. “What you will, O God, not what I will.” Gulp…it’s a leap of faith!

Questions: What is my attitude and disposition in prayer? Am I willing to let God be God in answering my prayers? What can I learn from today’s Gospel to help me grow in trust of God and gratefulness for whatever he wants in my life?

Pray: Loving God, my life is in your hands. In you I trust. Thank you for providing for me. You alone have the words of everlasting life. You know what is best for me. May I have the faith to trust you at all times.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.                                                                       

Holy God; Holy and Might One; Holy and Immortal One: Have mercy on me and on the whole world.


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