Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: lectionary # 217. I John 5:5-13. Psalm 147:12-13.124-15.19-20.
Epiphany continues through the readings of this week; they manifest Jesus
in colorful ways, especially through his miracles of nature and those that
heal persons. We turn to Luke today who is the Evangelist of the kindness
of Jesus, the prayer of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit working through Jesus.
John’s Gospel has also manifested Jesus during the days of Christmas and
Epiphany; his is the theme of love and light. No one does it better on
these two themes than John.
Jesus performs his miracle on the man who has leprosy. It happens in an
unnamed town of Galilee–remember we are in the early part of his ministry
according to Luke. Not only is the leper cured but he is sent to the
priests so that the healing may religiously and ritually be approved. Jesus
does not take away from the standard procedures of religious laws. This
will enable the man to enter into the full worship as a devout Jew in the
Temple. Jesus fulfills even the minutiae of the Mosaic Law as we have
learned from him in Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus
never acts as a charlatan in whatever he does nor as a magician in these
extraordinary works of mercy and healing. As we listen to Luke narrate
this miracle we find that at the end he tells us that Jesus retires to a
deserted place to pray. If Jesus prays, then we have no execuse for not
We are summoned to have faith in Jesus as the leper did. He addresses
Jesus in this manner, “Lord, if you wish you can make me clean.” Jesus
then stretches out his hand and touches him and says, “I will do it. Be
made clean.” Confident faith in Jesus responds to the touch of Jesus in
his life. We may not have physical contact with the Lord but we do have
him touch us in the Eucharist and in the healings of the sacraments and his
word. Friends also help to heal our inmost problems and struggles with
daily life. This too is the healing touch of Jesus on whatever ails us.
Jesus shows us that not only can he heal us but that we need faith that is
strengthened by prayer. Luke lets us know that Jesus prayed often.
We conclude with a thought from the first reading where John says, “I have
written this to make you ralize that you possess eternal life–you who
believe in the name of the Son of God.” (IJohn 5:13). Amen.