Jesus Will Touch & Cleanse You – By Father Andrew Bahhi
All our days should be to be close to God. And I should keep it in my mind that I am a Christian. It is not on my ID or passport. But the way I live my life will tell all people around me what do I believe in. And if we do not dedicate ourselves to God, they won’t see our good deeds, our faith that comes out of our actions.
This is the second Sunday of Lent. An important time to recognize the healing of the leper and the Feast of St. Aphrem.
This morning’s Gospel was in the book of Luke, where Jesus met the man full of leprosy. This is a very contagious disease, and a very painful and slow-killing disease. And in the old days, it was a sign of a sinner. And these people were kept from the rest of society, suffering emotionally, psychologically, and physically.
When Jesus came, he wanted to ensure that the disease is not a sign of sin, but instead a sign to come out of our nature as a human. And the man spoke to Jesus with a strong faith, saying, “Lord if you are willing, you can cleanse me.” (Luke 5:12).
And, then in the next verse, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.”
Remember, in other Bible passages:
- The man who lost his sight and saw a gain “Your faith has made you well” – and he saw.
- Another time, he raised someone from death.
But here, it is important to note that Jesus touched the leper, which nobody dared to do. He told him – you are accepted. You are welcome to the community. He is telling the leper, “I am the Savior, and will bring you back to the church.”
That’s why every one of you is a member of the church. So, we need to come to the church, come back to this body, to be an active member of the church.
So, when the community rejected this man from the body of the church because he is “bad,” Jesus welcomed him back to the body of the Christ.
We are tempted to feel the same way. When we feel bad, we feel we are not worthy to be part of the church. But all that are false statements. The church is for those who underestimate them, so Jesus can heal them by touching their pain.
This leper had a very strong faith. He should not have been this close to the people. The steadfastness of this person led him to seek Jesus and receive the blessing.
Similarly, we need to ask, do we really call out to Jesus when we go bad ways? Or do we lose our hope and say, “I am not good.” Or “Even if I repent, I will be bad again. So why should bother Jesus?”
This is not the way of God. The leper did not care what the people would say or believe. He was focusing on one thing, “I’m here to bring me back to the body that I was separated from.” He is here to heal you from inside and outside, to forgive you for your sins, to clean your heart and body, to clean you from any sickness and bad habits. And to make you a living member of the holy church.
The leprosy we have is in our soul. When we cut ourselves off from charity and almsgiving – this is a form of leprosy. You allowed spiritual leprosy to come to you. How about thinking or saying bad things? If the Lord wants to do us according to our actions, we all should be isolated somewhere like lepers.
But because he is so merciful, He opened the door of the church to every and each one of us, for the spiritual leprosy that we have. When we hear the gospel in church, we touch Jesus and receive the body and his blood, we get cleansed from all kinds of diseases. We should thank the Lord because he chose us to make us a living holy member of the church.
If we come to Jesus every Sunday, because during the week we do bad things, we kneel down, and recite the prayer of confession, the Lord will treat us in the way he dealt with the leper. He will take the leprosy of the sins from your body and mind.
We should fill the church. We see on the news that bad things are happening to churches around the world. The churches get destroyed, or they are closed. So why should we choose something different from our church?
Because one day, if the church will close, we may cry and ask for the church to be opened. And nobody will be there to hear us. I encourage everybody to come back to the church, and participate in the communion. Because the more you delay the more you are losing opportunity to be closer to Jesus, and to receive cleansing of your spirit and your soul.
Learn more in Father Andrew’s sermon video here.
January 28, 2024
January 21, 2024