From the Pastor’s Desk 02/15/2015
Feb 19, 2015
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The theme for today’s readings is that Jesus purifies our hearts and restores our dignity. In the bible, leprosy is the image of sin and guilt. Jesus touches our wounds and restores us to newness of life.
“The one who bears the sore of leprosy shall keep his garments rent and his head bare, and shall muffle his beard; he shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!” In the Old Testament mentality, sickness meant exclusion. Sickness was a consequence of bad or sinful behavior and was passed from generation to generation. Any disease that manifested externally was an impediment even for the practice of religion. The leper should live away from family and God! They had to sound a bell announcing their sickness so others will not be contaminated and made impure. Sin and an impure heart where intrinsically connected. The messiah was eagerly awaited to clean us from leprosy and to purify our hearts.
“A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” This leper rang no bells, no crying of his impurity as the law required – just his need and his prayer – from the bottom of his heart. This prayer must be repeated constantly, every time with meet Jesus and He will clean us from sin. I like to think that stress is type of modern leprosy. Stress takes away the inner peace, the connection with God, self and others; and can lead us to make grave mistakes. Jesus feels compassion for us and wants to cleanse us from sin and fears. Jesus speaks of purification and cleansing, not healing. This is a complete new way of thinking.
Jesus wants to restore our dignity and purify our hearts, but we must seek him, fall on our knees and ask for what we need. But first, we need to break free from social and cultural barriers, just like the leper, so we could hear those beautiful words: “I do will it. Be made clean.” See you at the Romantic Dinner on March 21st at 8PM!