And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” Matthew 7:28-8:4
These days we spend a good deal of time packing and pulling things out from where they are stored. It reveals a lot, especially how much mess is hidden behind closed doors and closed drawers. Our illness or dirt may not be visible, but all of us have it, hidden or revealed. Not one of us get away from the mess of life and the brokenness of being human.
The folks who had leprosy were shunned and reviled, considered dirty and dangerous. They were sent away to live apart from society. Jesus came down from the mountain and immediately healed those who asked for healing. They wanted to be clean, freed from the external and internal scars of their disease. It is what we all want, I believe. Jesus touched them, although no one would have dared, and brought them from near death to new life. He set them free, and we who ask are likewise set free, made clean. God invites us to simply ask for our needs to be met.
I ask God today to help me ask for the healing I need, freedom from the internal and external scars that keep me from living completely. May we all have the courage to ask God for what we need, so that divine love and mercy might be revealed to our world.