(Matthew 8: 1-4) Jesus heals the leper

In the Gospel of Matthew (8: 1-4) that Fr Paul reads today, Jesus has just come down from delivering the Sermon on the Mount and we hear about Jesus cleansing a leper.

Fr Paul says that in Matthew’s Gospel there are ten wonders or miracles worked by Jesus that show his healing work in action. The first three centre on the authority of Jesus; the second group focus on discipleship; and the last group on the faith of the recipients.

Through this first wonder, Jesus shows his love and care for the leper.  Remember, in the time of Jesus, lepers were excluded from all normal life and society. We hear in today’s Gospel that despite this occlusion, despite what the law prescribed, despite the risk of infection, Jesus touches the leper and heals him; such is the love and care Jesus wants to show to those who come to him.

We also see a pattern emerge that, like the leper, we too can follow when we need to be healed in some way:

  • We can come to Jesus, we can call on his help
  • We know that if we ask, help will be given in God’s time and in God’s way.

Reflecting on this pattern, Fr Paul invites us to consider ‘What needs do I have in my life at the moment? What areas are in need of healing?’  He says take some time in the day to call on Jesus, to place these needs before Jesus, and to seek his healing presence in our lives.