The Leprosy of the Soul

Luke 5: 12-16
1 Jn 5: 5-13 / Ps 147

Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.
(Luke 5:12)

Grant us the wisdom, Lord Jesus,
By the Father’s Will to abide.
With Your healing Word release us
From the “leprosy” of our pride.

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I do will it,” He said. “Be made clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Yet the news about Him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:12-16)

Reflection

Upon hearing these words from the leper, Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” It was an instantaneous reaction to the desperate man’s expression of humility (falling face to the ground) and total faith. Faith in God’s power and compassion heals us totally — not only of our physical ailments, but more importantly from our pride, selfishness, greed, and other diseases of the soul.

Leprosy was and still is one of the most humbling scourges of man. In its advanced stage, it makes a person look hideous, and leaves him totally without dignity. A stinking flea-bitten dog is more tolerable to have around than a leprose man. The leper was a “dead man walking,” because he might as well be dead. He could no longer associate with friends and loved ones, and was treated as a social outcast. He had lost the feelings of others for him just as he had also lost the sense of feeling for objects around him. Like a dead man he had totally lost contact with the world. And yet Jesus loved and healed the lepers more than He tolerated the proud and self-righteous Pharisees. Their spiritual leprosy was incurable because of their lack of humility and faith in Jesus.

There are many people today who are afflicted with the leprosy of the soul, and their lot is far worse than the lepers in Jesus’ day. These are the people who have become desensitized by their wealth, power or influence in their community or organization. They are no longer sensitive to the needs of others or the injustices happening around them, even though they are in the position to address them. Their sense of pride and self-importance have so deadened their spiritual nerves to the point that the Holy Spirit can no longer heal the decaying condition of their souls.

It is only our Lord Jesus who can heal us of spiritual leprosy and all our afflictions. More than our physical healing, we must desire to be made spiritually clean by seeking God’s help to be more considerate to the poor and disadvantaged, to be forgiving of others’ faults and wrongdoings, and to be more compassionate to those with ailments and defects.

Lord Jesus, help me to be humble in my state of physical, mental and spiritual health. Free me from the pride of accomplishments, and forgive me for feeling so self-righteous just because You poured so much blessings in my life. I am sorry for being so ‘spiritually proud’, and if physical ailments come to humble me, then I accept them as Your healing for my soul. Amen.

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