It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was;
and when he saw Jesus,
he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said,
Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.
Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
I do will it. Be made clean.
And the leprosy left him immediately.
Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but
Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing
what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.
The report about him spread all the more,
and great crowds assembled to listen to him
and to be cured of their ailments,
but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
The peace of the Lord be with you.
As I read the Gospel passage today two things really stood out for me. The word will and the word pray. How often do we think about our will and its health and condition?
God gave us free will as a means of directing our lives — as a means of making choice, and as a means of experiencing freedom. A will that is healthy, I believe, is one that is aligned in purpose and intent with what God has in store and in mind for us. That’s where prayer comes in. Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer and perhaps that’s what kept his will aligned with the will of the Father.
The culture that I have grown up in places a great deal of emphasis on directing ones own life, but as I enter into this new year, I am hoping to be directed more by God’s will for me. Today, I have learned that prayer is a prerequisite for maintaining contact and doing the will of God.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.