Due to our fallen human nature, sin is an unfortunate reality of life. No matter how hard we try, we always “slip up” in some way. Sometimes our sin is great, other times it’s not so bad. Could you imagine how devastating it would be if God didn’t give us a second, third, hundredth, or ten thousandth chance?
In the first reading from today’s Mass (Lv 13:1-2, 44-46), The Lord gives Moses the rules for pronouncing lepers “unclean”. It involves going to the priest and allowing him to make the determination. Reading the next several verses of Leviticus 13 (beyond what is read at Mass) states that the priest can also declare a leper “clean” if certain conditions are met.
In today’s gospel reading (Mk 1:40-45), a leper approaches Jesus and states, “If you wish, you can make me clean”. The Lord touched him and replies, “I do will it. Be made clean.” Just as in the first reading, the leper is healed. In this case, the healing comes directly from the ultimate high priest, Jesus Christ.
So many times, we are the “unclean lepers” due to our sinful actions. What a pity that many people don’t realize that there is a solution. Like the lepers in the readings, we simply need to present ourselves to the priest in the Sacrament of Confession. It is there that the high priest, Jesus, heals us of our sins. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re confessing your sins to an ordinary man…that’s not true. The Church teaches that it is Jesus Himself who hears and forgives our sins.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to Confession, please consider going soon. Then, like the healed leper in today’s gospel reading, you won’t be able to contain your joy once you are cleansed!