A Note from the Pastor – Feb 9

In comes a leper, a desperate man who has lost everything: home, employment, friends, hugs, dignity, and it seems even God. This man is decaying while alive; for society, he is a sinner, rejected by God and chastised with leprosy.

He approaches Jesus but knows that he mustn’t; he can’t; the law imposes absolute isolation on him. But Jesus does not run away; he does not shun him; he stands by him and listens. The leper should have shouted from afar to those he met, “unclean, contagious”; instead, from up close, face to face, he whispers, “If you want, you can make me pure!”

“If you want.” The castaway leper clings to an “if”; the “hook in the middle of the sky, firm ground after the swamp.” And I see Jesus trembling before the subdued request of this adrift creature- trembling, like one who has received a blow to the stomach, a pang on the heart: “he was seized to the bowels with compassion.”

“If you want”… big question: The heart of God, What does he really want for me? Does he want leprosy? For me to be the town’s unclean? Is it he who sends the cancer? Jesus sees, stops, is moved, and touches.

For too long, no one dared touch him; his flesh was dying of loneliness. That is how Jesus begins to heal him, with a caress that comes before the voice, with fingers more eloquent than words. Yes, I have loved you with eternal love!