Commentary on the Gospel of
Even those of us who are not Biblical scholars likely know the story from today’s Gospel, in which a man with Leprosy begs Jesus to make him clean. “Lord, if you wish….”… and of course, our Lord graced the man with a cure. Surely Jesus knew, despite his request that the man not tell others of the miracle, that the story would spread. Surely he knew that many, many more requests would come.
I recently saw the musical Jesus Christ Superstar for the second time. In this production, I more clearly heard Judas in his anger toward Christ: “Why’d you let the things you do get so out of hand?” He thought that Jesus could have planned better, flown under the radar as it were, so as to keep safe. But Jesus knew well the ultimate consequence of his actions and he took them anyway.
Deep down we, too, usually know or can predict the consequences that will follow from our choices – for ill or for good. Sometimes we pray about them, and sometimes we even listen. Sometimes we still choose incorrectly: we eat poorly, smoke that cigarette, hurt someone with an unkind word, spend too much. But we all have the capacity to choose the right thing. Even when it is difficult, even when it might come at some personal expense, even when we need to withdraw to a quiet place to pray about it. We can choose, as Jesus did, to be with and for the other.
Lord, give me the courage and the grace to always be mindful of the needs of others, even as I move through my busy days. Let me love and give to my neighbor as you taught me, and never ask the cost. Amen.