Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday after Epiphany: But Only Say the Word

“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”… “I do will it. Be made clean.” - Lk 5:12-13

All of us have some aspect of our lives that we try to keep hidden behind the locked doors of our hearts: a shameful past, a secret sin, a hidden addiction, a “leprosy” if you will, that is slowly eating up at our hearts, yet desperately crying out for healing from Jesus.  The problem is that we’ve become so comfortable with keeping those things hidden from view, that we don’t know how to be otherwise.

What part of our broken lives is desperately waiting for Christ to enter, but is too afraid, too ashamed, too guilty, too self-loathing, too fearful, too rigid, too prideful, too disgusted to allow Christ to enter because we feel we’re unworthy of him?

We need only remember what we now say at mass, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof…”, and here’s the important part, “…but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”  The sense of unworthiness can often be so overwhelming that we tend to push Jesus away by saying “Oh, you can’t come in Lord!  My ‘house, my life is too messy, dirty, imperfect, and impure for you to set foot in my life.  Come back another time.”  Meanwhile, Jesus continues to stand at the door of our hearts, knocking, ready to say the word so our souls can be healed. We prevent him from coming in!

Despite ourselves, God comes unexpectedly into the ordinary brokenness of our humanity, wanting to be with us, as we are, and desiring only to love us – even those parts we think are unlovable. In the words of the spiritual writer, Annie Lamott, “God grace always meets us where we are, and never leaves us where it found us.”

As the Christmas season comes to a close, there is still one last present waiting to be opened.  It’s the gift of HEALING and FREEDOM that Jesus alone can give; a freedom that allows us to live our lives the best we can, with humility, honesty, and JOY. It’s time to let Christ enter into those locked doors of our hearts, to say the word, so that we can be healed, so that we can “be made clean!”

Reflected by Fr. Radmar Jao, SJ

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