First of all, I have been behind my writings yet again due to a trying week of assignments and examinations just before the Chinese New Year break. I have been suffering and feeling suppressed as I try to meet people’s expectations and mine so that it gets very tiring and weary.
The gospel reading touches on the story of Jesus in all his compassion and mercy; Jesus healed the leper who came to seek his healing as the leper wanted to be free from being ostracized by society and being labelled as an outcast. The leper also believed in Jesus and that he could be freed from this disease as he said these words, “If you wish, you can make me clean” (Mark 1:40-45)
In today’s context, many need spiritual healing; as for me, I am always running away from sin but it always catches up. I saw that a leper had the courage to be humble in his request of seeking Jesus that even though I may feel that I am not worthy of being saved, Jesus also welcomes his own back into the flock.
It occurred to me that sin is like a crippling disease; it takes over every aspect of your life and then it consumes every part of your being with darkness. Also in the gospel reading, Jesus remained in deserted places but people still kept coming to him. The deserted place is being reiterated again that we must find that place to experience prayer and healing within us. The concept of the deserted place has to be free from the noise of our daily lives and it is the safest place that we could turn to Jesus in all our sin and brokenness.
I have yet to find a permanent way to curb sin so that I do not keep sinning, however through the deserted place, I am determined to continue to fight sin so that it does not consume me. I could relate more to this gospel text as like leprosy, sometimes I feel that I am unworthy of the love of Jesus and have feelings of shame or guilt to return to him.
In this meaningful article, “The Loss of Pain: Inside a Leprosy Colony in Kolkata, India” , one sees the on-going struggle of lepers who are still stigmatized by society so that they have live in communities. It also made me think of Mother Theresa and her selflessness in caring for the lepers, even though they were considered outcasts of society. However, the lepers feel safe in this colony as they can earn their keep and they are given a renewed purpose by the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity who run this colony. It is helping me through my discernment journey to help those in need and accept them for who they are.
For now, I am still struggling with sin and temptations; I hope that I can have the courage like the leper to meet Jesus with courage and faith so as to be healed both spiritually and physically. The world also needs Jesus’ touch to be healed and that in a small way, we can show people the compassion and mercy of Jesus. He will free us from the baggage that we carry that makes us unclean, unapproachable, unloved, unworthy or unwanted and that we will be healed eventually. To quote the words of Mother Theresa, “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.”
God Bless! and we continue to pray for the courage to seek Jesus’ healing touch to be healed physically ,mentally or spiritually as we journey with him throughout this lenten season.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong