Friday after Epiphany
Luke 5:12-16 – https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/010722.cfm
JESUS REACHED OUT HIS HAND AND TOUCHED (THE LEPER).
My sister Bev and her husband Tom had a timeshare, and we used it to go to Hawaii many years ago. I remember looking across the waters to the island of Molokai. It was known as the island of lepers. My first thought was, “I don’t want to go there.” At that moment, the Spirit of the Lord was not upon me. But the Spirit of the Lord was upon Saint Damien of Molokai.
Traveling from Europe to Molokai, St Damien ministered to the lepers from outside their gate. He had enough of that nonsense. St. Damien wanted to do more than feed them. He wanted to be with them, all the way. He lived in their colony for 11 years, ministering to their many needs. He inspired the building of a hospital, schools, and more. The Spirit of the Lord was upon him. (See yesterday’s gospel.) St. Molokai contracted leprosy and died from the infection on April 15, 1889.
I need, I am sure, we all need the Holy Spirit upon us when we are with people who are hurting. Speaking for myself, first, I need to put down my stuff I am doing and listen to the person I am with, even if it is momentarily. Then I must let go of the stuff in my head, so I can be present to them. Letting go of my stuff opens my heart for the Spirit of God to fall upon the people in front of me and me. Clutter and the Spirit don’t mix.
“Jesus reached out and touched (the leper).” If it’s good enough for Jesus and Damien, it’s good enough for me. How about you? Let’s pray for each other.
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC