In today's reading we hear the story of Naaman, a foreigner who came to Israel to be cured of his leprosy. Elisha, the prophet of God, instructed Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan river 7 times. When Naaman came out of the water, his body was clean of the disease. He proclaimed, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel."
There is a lot of leprosy in the Bible. Both in the old Testament and the New. In the Old Testament there are rules for lepers. In the New Testament we see Jesus healing lepers. Leprosy, now called Hansen's Disease, was a big problem in the time of Jesus. It is still a problem in various places of the world. But what does that have to do with us?
Leprosy is a terrible disease. It is disfiguring. It starts as a little spot but then it grows. It is catching - those who live in close contact with lepers can also become lepers. But the lepers in the Bible, the poor souls who have this terrible disease, teach us about an even worse disease - sin.
Sin is a terrible affliction. It is disfiguring. It starts small and grows into a habit of vice. It makes us ugly. It makes it hard for us to love other people. It makes us selfish, self-centered, addicted to evil. Thankfully, Jesus has given us the cure for sin. He died on the cross to pay the price of our sin. Now our part is to ask for His forgiveness.
Ask Jesus to make you clean. Ask Him to SHOW YOU any little spots of sin that need to be wiped away before they grow. Ask Him to show you where you are selfish and even ugly. Jesus wants to heal you. He wants to make you clean.
During Lent we Catholics take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What a joyful experience! To go in with our sins, to talk to Jesus, and to come out clean! Leprosy is a terrible disease on the outside. Sin is a worse disease on the inside. Ask for help. Go to Jesus. He will heal you and make you beautiful again. What GOOD NEWS!
I am a Catholic wife, mom and grandma. In 1995, after Bible college and a few years as an Evangelical Missionary, I was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. These are my personal musings on Scripture, prayer, and living close to Jesus.