After Jesus had come down from the mountain large crowds followed him. Suddenly a man with a virulent skin-disease came up and bowed low in front of him, saying, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can cleanse me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, ‘I am willing. Be cleansed.’ And his skin-disease was cleansed at once. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Mind you tell no one, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence to them.’
The faith of the leper relieves the Lord’s will of salvation. This is a truth that we should remember deeply. The Lord wants to heal, the Lord wants to save, the Lord wants to call every person into the Kingdom of the Father, the Lord wants everyone to be delivered from his leprosy, be it physical or mental. “I am willing” he says to the leper, “be cleansed.”
So it’s up to us whether we have enough faith. Again and again the Lord draws our attention to this! So many passages in the Scriptures speak of this, that we should ask ourselves: How can our faith grow, how can it become so great that the Lord can do anything he wants?
One thing is to pray persistently for the faith, as did the disciples who asked the Lord to increase their faith (cf. Lk 17,5).
Another is to realize in meditation what the Lord has already done for us, because this can strengthen our faith! How often has the Lord intervened, how often have our prayers been answered, what dangers has He saved us from, how faithfully He has led us through severe crises…
An important point to grow in faith is gratitude. It is not enough just to remember what the Lord has done for us, even though this is already very important and is often enough forgotten! It is only in thanksgiving for what has been received that the whole reality is realized and we are reminded of that passage in the Gospel which speaks of the fact that out of ten healed lepers only one came back to give glory to the Lord (cf. Lk 17,11-19).
Every experience with God is suitable to deepen our faith if we apply it correctly, because every experience shows us how much God cares for us human beings and how much “I am willing” surrounds us. To enter into this “I am willing” in faith means to open the doors to God, to act with us and through us.
In a way, there is not only the transcendence that we rise to God in Christ: But there is also a transcendence of God when He communicates Himself through our faith and accomplishes His works!
Faith, therefore, is not only important for our salvation, but it is also at the service of God’s action for us and for man. One more reason to ask for the growth of faith and to strive for it!
In today’s case, however, Jesus only wanted the priest to know about God’s actions so that those who watched him with suspicion would know that the Lord acted according to the law, so that there was no reason to suspect him.
This is a very wise gesture of the Lord, even if it perhaps did not achieve its intended effect. But the Lord made them an offer, so to speak: “Behold, my actions are in the continuity of the law.”
This is also a valuable clue in dealing with other people who may not understand or even suspect our actions. Let’s try to communicate it in their language, even if it may not be of much use. But if it is not heard and accepted, then the way of prayer remains!