January 11, 2019 (Friday after Epiphany)
If you will
Dear friends in Christ, God calls us to a relationship in his son. Through baptism, we become brothers and sisters of Jesus and sharers in the life of grace. By it we become God’s beloved and become heirs to the kingdom of heaven. By faith in Jesus we overcome the world. This brings us to accepting the will of God for our lives.
In the first reading of today (1John 5:5-13) John assures us that we must approach life in Christ with full confidence. The reason is that: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, coupled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, is all that is needed to overcome the world. “Who is he that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” He emphasises his coming by water and blood, the symbols of Baptism and the Eucharist. He says, “And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water and the blood; and these three agree.” John says that this is the witness of God and it is far more important than human testimony. “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the son, has not life.”
The Gospel (Luke 5:12-16)
In this passage, we have a strange beginning, lepers were not allowed in places where others live to avoid spreading the disease to others. This passage however begins with, “While Jesus was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy...” He must have defied all the laws to come close to Jesus thereby risking being stoned to death. The mercy of God however was shown to him. He bowed low and asked Jesus, “Lord if you will, you can make me clean.” What a powerful acknowledgment of the power in Jesus. Jesus did something also forbidden by the law, “He stretched out his hand and touched him...” For a man who took that sort of risk, Jesus did not deny him his request, “I will, be clean.” The man was healed of his leprosy. He was then commanded by Jesus to go and make the offering necessary for his healing. Though he was cured, he needed to go and show himself to the priest. Our personal encounter with Jesus, leads us back to the community of the faithful. He does not deny us of the joy and togetherness of our homes, families and community. We need to take the risk too—the risk of looking for Jesus at every and all costs, the risk of acknowledging him as Lord and Saviour, the risk of entrusting ourselves to his will. Let’s be assured, if he will’s it, nothing is impossible for him. Let us ask that his will be done in our lives as we begin a new year.
Let us pray: Lord I know your plan is for our good, we commit ourselves to your will—let your will be done in our lives. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.