Moments in Philippine Daily Inquirer by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD
In the Gospel by Mark. 1, 40-45, we hear of how Jesus healed a leper completely.
Jesus was someone who did not settle for palliatives or a “quick fix” both in His words and in His works. His words were simple and sincere, and that is why they were powerful. His works were done out of love and service, and that is why they were also powerful. True leaders really care. False leaders also really care… about themselves!
In contrast to Jesus, how shallow and how superficial some people are in their works and words. Indeed, honesty has become such a lonely word these days. There are so many people who are good in managing the truth, and who are experts in manipulating public opinion. What we need most in our country are truth-tellers, and compassionate government officials and leaders.
(Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season.) It is the time for penance and sacrifice in preparation for Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. It is the time for us to be cleansed of the leprosy of greed and selfishness. What we need, too, is cleansing in our nation, which is still so burdened with so much conflict and division, not to mention personalities and leaders who are filled with selfish agenda and ambitions.
Speaking of cleansing, I had a good talk with Greggy Licaros who became a widower two years ago and who went through dialysis and a kidney transplant last year. He told me that loneliness and sickness are God’s way of cleansing us. They open us to the reality of death, the reality of God’s love; they make us see our mission more clearly and value eternity more dearly. Greggy is happy through it all, and is disposing of excess material and spiritual baggage. That’s what real cleansing means!
Quality time and payback time! People who have received blessings and second chances, as well as extra extensions and favors, should not just be happy but should also be grateful, and spend the rest of their lives praising and loving God and other people. All healing should lead to cleansing and mission. All blessings should lead to gratitude and conversion.
Sharing with you this prayer: “Lord, when I am all alone and feeling lonely and I have no one to talk to, when it is like everybody seems so happy and I am full of sadness, and I am the only one hurting, let Your Word work in my heart and give me comfort, and may Your presence raise me up and help me to move on. Amen.”
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, cleanse us of our selfish agenda and ambitions so that we can truly see and do our mission. Amen.