In today’s gospel Jesus cures a person with leprosy. We might think, “Well, that has nothing to do with me. I don’t have leprosy.”
Think for a moment… What is eating away at our society? What are the cures?
Anger is eating away at harmony; understanding is the cure. Fear is eating away at hope; courage is the cure. Greed is eating up our planet Earth; sharing is the cure. Hypocrisy is eating away at trust; truth is the cure.
Prejudice is eating away at unity; non-judging is the cure. Unforgiveness is eating away at peace; compassion is the cure. Violence in the womb and violence near the tomb (assisted suicide) is eating away at civilization; respect for all human life is the cure.
For many years a creeping dictatorship has been eating away at our freedoms; faithfulness to our constitution is the cure. The “military industrial complex” is eating away at money and resources that could feed, house and heal the poor; justice is the cure. War and violence are tearing apart the human family; belief in the Fatherhood of God and knowing we are all God’s children is the cure.
Yes, we are suffering leprosy on a global scale.
On an individual level…Self-doubt is eating away at our self-confidence; belief in God’s power in us is the cure. Laziness is eating away at Sunday worship; faithfulness to God is the cure. Sorrow is eating away at our joy; trust in God is the cure. Selfishness is eating away at our hearts; love is the cure.
At Mass we bring up bread and wine. We ask the Holy Spirit to come upon this bread and wine and transform it into the Body and Blood of Christ. This bread and wine represent all of us present. We ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us and transform us more and more into the likeness of Christ. Then, nourished by Word and Sacrament, we who were once part of the problem are sent forth to be part of the cure. The Body of Christ is one powerful body of healers!
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/.