Cleansing and Forgiveness

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“Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” That question opens today’s first reading from 1 John 5. Who indeed? I hope that “one” is you! In our Gospel reading today from Luke 5, a leper comes to Jesus asking to be cleansed. Jesus says, “I do will it. Be made clean.” Then the Scripture tells us “the leprosy left him immediately.”

This story of the leper reminds me of confession and the spiritual life. When we avail ourselves of the sacrament of Confession, we, too, are cleansed. The priest, through the ministry of the Church, with the authority given Her by Christ, absolves us of our sins. And our souls are cleansed! For that brief moment in time we are spotless; forgiven.

Imagine what it must have taken the leper to come to Jesus that day. Courage, humility, trust and hope come to mind. Funny, but those are the same things that we need to have to make our way into the confessional! Once we realize that our “leprosy” is sin, we must take on the same attitude as the leper in today’s Gospel story. The Scripture tells us that the leper “pleaded with him.” Let us pray that we will come to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, pleading to be cleansed.

Father, we recognize our own leprosy. Give us the courage and strength to go to Jesus, that we might be cleansed. Amen.

Today’s Readings


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