Still in chapter one of the Gospel according to Mark (1:40-45), we encounter the touch of Jesus.
A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
How amazing, that a mere human being can move God. And yet, we rarely understand this to its full impact. We are like the cubs that a mother elephant defends to her death. There are so many instances where nature merely gives a hint to the compassion and devotion of a mother for her child. The Prophet Isaiah is quite clear about it in chapter 49, as he is the voice of God:
I will never forget you my people. I have carved you in the palm of my hand. I will never forget you; I will not leave you orphaned. I will never forget my own. Does a mother forget her baby, or a woman, the child within her womb? Yet even if they forget, yes even if they forget, I will never forget my own.
Absolutely remarkable is that God is saying that even if the Alpha and Omega were to die and leave us orphaned, God will rise above death to defend us, protect us, and love us. Love is stronger than death. Nature is all about survival. I am amazed how flowers can grow out of a wall in a mostly cement city or animals are so able to adapt to our encrouchment. God is crazy in love with you and me. That love is for everyone. God desires that we get along with one another, whether we be Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Protestant, Atheist, Mormon or Catholic.
The most painful hurts from another come from our own friends and families, not our enemies. Only those we love can truly hurt us. And that is the true leprosy that keeps us separated. When we fail to love all and to be loved by all we get nauseated with one another. We carry the hidden puss of spiritual leprosy. Jesus came to heal this kind of leprosy. Jesus is delighted when he hears us beg,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Jesus stretches out his hand and touches me saying, “I do will it, be made clean!”
All living creatures have a sense of touch. Let us be open and be stewards of our sense of touch.
…and experience the touch of Jesus.
How remarkable it must have been to be in that upper room with locked doors when Jesus entered the room. It must have taken their breath away to hear his voice bouncing off of their eardrums as he said, “Peace be with you.”
Then they saw with their own eyes; the nail marks in his hands and the wound in his side. Now experience his breath touching you as he breathes the Holy Spirit on you and those around you. That gentle, kind and loving breath burns away everything unclean in you and me. Wow! And ooh! And o my!
Jesus truly has reached out his hand and touched me.
Let us be true stewards of the touch of Jesus.
Receive the gift.
Nurture the gift.
And return the gift with increase!
I can hardly keep it to myself. How about you?
Love, joy, peace,
Father Ron Moses +