Today's Gospel reading from Luke 5 is the story a leper approaching Jesus and asking to be healed. He says, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." He believed Jesus had the power to do that. And he was right! His belief facilitated his healing.
The first reading today is from 1 John 5. It begins with a question. “Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” If phrased in the form of a statement, it may look like this: “The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God has victory over the world.” Now, I’m guessing that you believe that Jesus is the Son of God. So, let me ask you, are you having victory over the world? Or are you still struggling in that department? I’ll bet the answer is both. It is for me, anyway.
This isn’t some magic formula, it is a process. We don’t just say we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and magically all of our propensity to sin goes away. But, little by little, as we live out that profession of faith, as we grow closer to the Son of God, we begin to have more and more victories over sin. Will we ever be perfect? Not until we reign with Christ. But while we’re here, we can continually move toward that perfection by practicing what we preach. Do you believe?
Father, we do believe that Jesus is your only begotten Son. Help us live our lives as though we truly believe, that we may have more and more victories over the world. Amen.