Matthew 8: 1-4
Jesus came down from the mountainAfter Jesus finished his prayers, he came down from the mountain and found a crowd waiting below. They must have been waiting for some time. They didn't simply form or gather immediately... they were there, waiting patiently. Among them was a leper who must have been disguised, otherwise there is no way that the disciples or even the crowd would have let him near Jesus. As soon as Jesus came down from the mountain the crowd began to follow Him. The leper approached him instead. He fell to his knees, did him homage and asked the Lord to make him clean. Christ reached out to him, touched him, and made him clean. Isn't the Lord constantly reaching out to those who do him homage?
PATIENCEThe Jewish people know how to wait. Their history is marked by long periods of exile and waiting for the day, the month, the year to return home. The remnant - the small group left behind -- is a source of hope and a constant reminder that the Lord does not abandon his promise or his people. Even in the midst of utter failure, destruction, and death, God sees the pain, hears the cries, and loves His people (2 Kgs 25:21). A promise made is a promise kept. History clearly shows whose side God is on. King Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, the Pharaohs and their empires are all dead and gone. Only the Jews, only Israel, remain. Those who believe in Him will hold out till the very end. Those who do not are obliterated, silenced. "May my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!" (Psalm 137). The Jews learn to be patient with their God because God is very patient with them.
We cannot simply follow the Lord - that is, attend Mass, say our prayers, listen to or read the Bible. We must do him homage! To follow the Lord does not simply mean to "walk with him". We must approach the Lord as our Savior, and taste and see the goodness of the Lord. To follow the Lord means to walk in His footsteps and allow Him to take us, bless us, break us and give us. We are called to be heavenly food for others. Christ took away our infirmities and cleansed us of our sins. The crowd stood and watched. We are called to approach. But only one approached. He broke through the crowd and called out to Him, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Repentance leads to forgiveness, which leads to being healed. Take and see the goodness of the Lord. Today we call this Confession or Reconciliation. Before I can reach out to anyone, I must be healed. Only God knows who the men and/or women were who helped this leper come near the Lord? I guarantee you, they must have been healed by him, too. Have I brought someone to the Lord today? Today, our prayer should lead us to come down from the mountain, to hope in the Lord, to approach Him, and help someone else approach Him, too.