Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Proper 21: Year 2
Morning, Psalms 97 and 99; Evening, Psalm 94;
Hosea 4:1 to10; Acts 21:1 to 14; Luke 5:12 to 26
“Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” (Luke 5: 12)
Therein lays our biggest dilemma. What does our Lord Jesus choose to do? Many of us want to be made well. For many of us, our emotional troubles are as obvious as the physical sores of leprosy. When we pray, do we even think of the possibility that our Lord Jesus might not choose?
The man with leprosy expressed his humility by first bowing down to the ground. This is an outward and visible sigh of his totally giving up of himself to Jesus. He said to Jesus, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” The man held nothing back, knowing full well that it was completely up to Jesus. Jesus was so moved by the man’s surrender that he actually reached out and touched the man. Perhaps, in more ways than one, he probably touched his heart also. And when Jesus saw the man’s complete handing over his life to God he had compassion for him and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.’ Immediately the leprosy left him.” (Luke 5: 13)
Today we don’t have to lie down prone, prostrating ourselves in such a physical way, although I know of at least one monastic order that does this as a part of taking their life vows. But we are still required to give up ourselves totally to God. And we must understand that God may not choose to cleanse us in this mortal life. But let us not be so concerned about a mortal cleansing. Instead, let us be more concerned about eternal salvation, that is, the immortality that is to come through faith and with it a healthy and complete existence in the next realm.
Eternal salvation means being in Paradise with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ for all eternity. This is what we really want, and it is what we really want our Lord Jesus to choose to do for us. How welcome will be the words from our Lord Jesus when he says, “I do choose [you].” Thank You Lord Jesus.
Please keep Ukraine in your prayers, our prayers are making a real difference.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John