Today’s first reading from 1 John 5 begins with a question: “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Who indeed? Well, let’s see…you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, right? Then YOU must be the victor over the world! Pretty cool, huh? In the Gospel reading, we see Jesus having an encounter with a leper.
The leper comes to Jesus with great faith. “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He didn’t tell the guy to go out and give alms. He didn’t make him jump through any hoops. “Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do will it. Be made clean.’ ” Just like that. Be made clean. And the leprosy left him immediately. All the guy had to do was ask.
As Catholics, this can happen for us on a regular basis. It’s the Sacrament of Confession. When we go to the priest, who is acting in persona Christi, we go in faith asking the Lord to make us clean. And He does. Just like that. But I don’t think that the asking is the hardest part. The hardest part is mustering up the courage to admit that we have leprosy (sin). Once we can get past that hurdle, the rest comes much more easily.
Father, we thank you for the willingness of Jesus to make us clean in the Sacrament of Confession. Give us the grace to acknowledge our sinfulness, and the courage to ask to be made clean. Amen.
Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest? You'll find the answer to that question and many more in the A Minute in the Church series, available at www.GusLloyd.com.