Be cured MARK 1:40–45
by Pearl Alfred
Religious gestures are all becoming a thing of the past. Reverence for the sacred is lacking.
The elderly will remember genuflecting on entering the pew and making the sign of the cross when passing in front of the church. I learned to pray on my knees at grandma’s bedside.
In some Mexican communities, men and women do penance on their knees, moving from one place to the next.
Here is this leper who, in an act of reverence and supplication, knelt before Jesus. He did not deny his condition but sought help from Jesus. So many people are unaware of Jesus’ healing power.
If we are honest with ourselves, we will realise that we are sick in mind, body and soul. We are sinners in need of a healer.
Sin in our lives is like leprosy—it eats away souls, causing us to isolate ourselves from Jesus and everything spiritual. Hearts become hard, and people drift further and further away from God. If we deny being sinners, we are liars. There is always need to go to Jesus saying, ‘If You want to, You can cure me’ and hear Jesus’ response, ‘Be cured’.
Jesus sees, hears and answers all who seek His help. He does the healing in His own time—sometimes very quickly. At other times the healing is slow but it is being done.
It is very interesting to see Jesus sending the leper to go and show himself to the priest. Jesus made sure the man complied with the law at that time. The leper could have only mingled with other people after he got clearance from the priest. Jesus is, right now, watching the defiance of so many groups of people who will not obey the call of the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago. Selfish desires take precedent when saving lives should be foremost in the heart and action of every citizen in the land. Spiritual circumcision of the heart is needed.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation affords that. The order to go show oneself to the priest is very valid. Personal examination of conscience is recommended. At the first opportunity, there is need to go to confession where penance and absolution will serve as remedies for the soul. Those whose sin the priest forgives are truly forgiven. Every ordained priest has that mandate. Catholics should take advantage of that essential obligation.
How wonderful it is after a sincere confession, to walk away singing, “Free, free, free, I have been set free by that man from Galilee”. Joy fills the soul and there is reconnection with the Saviour and Healer. There is no staying quiet as the singing goes on, “I’m a new creation, I’m a brand-new man,” woman, boy or girl.
Many of our children are growing up for the most part, without spiritual guidance, morality or set goals. So many young people are searching in the wrong places to get identity. Their end leaves a scar on their families, friends, communities and society.
It still takes knowledge of Jesus to redeem our world. Sin is a progressive fall. ‘Real love’ coming from Jesus’ intervention is necessary to get the sinner back on track. Every baptised Catholic is expected to share the love of Jesus with a neighbour. The Church’s ‘Baptized and Sent’ is a wake-up call to witness to the person of Jesus. Pray, that God will open the door or window to Christian witnessing especially, to children and youths.
Jesus is a prayer away and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, hear Him say, “Be made clean” (Mk 1:41) my children.
It is appropriate to develop a nightly habit to make an examination of conscience, adding the Act of Contrition (do this just before sleep)—your nightcap.
Let us Pray:
B- bring all hearts to me, Your
E- ever-loving Saviour
C- ‘cause I know you from the depths of your being.
U- under my wings I will shield you;
R- righteous I will make you,
E- every sin will vanish
D-do not hesitate to ask and hear me say, “Be cured”
The gospel reflections for February are by Pearl Clarke Alfred, a parishioner of St Francis of Assisi RC Church, Sangre Grande. She is also a member of The Community of Franciscan House of Prayer, Sangre Grande, and a retired school principal.