The First Reading tells us: Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? What does it mean to believe Jesus is the Son of God? John tells us: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. It is God’s will that we have eternal life. And when we believe Jesus is the Son of God, then we conquer the world.
The challenges of the world, the difficulties, the uncertainties, the pandemic, the chaos of the world, are nothing compared to Jesus, the Son of God. To believe Jesus is the Son of God is to believe God became man, that God pierced time and space from eternity so that we can have eternal life. The word believe can also be translated as trust and faith. When we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, we trust in Jesus as the Son of God. This is the confidence we need to have so that we can be like the leper in the Gospel today. Even if the Law required lepers to stay away from people, this leper broke the Law because he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” We know the leper approached Jesus because Luke tells us Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, “I choose, be made clean.” It is God’s will that we be made whole, if not physically, spiritually. He wants us to have a whole life, fullness of life that runs until eternity.
But what must we do? We need to come to him, to approach him, with boldness and ask.
The pandemic has upset many lives. There are many people whose lives have been disrupted. But we need to remember, it is not God’s will for us to suffer. He allows suffering so he can use it for his purpose: to strengthen us, to teach us to cleave to him more tightly. He does this not because he needs our display of affection. But he does this because this is the only way for us to have eternal life!
If you feel isolated, having no one to run to, be like the leper. Be bold, approach Jesus, who sits on the throne of grace, to find grace in time of need. Do not be afraid, come to Jesus. He wants to heal you, to make you whole. He is all you need. And when all things are gone, all we have is Jesus. That is more than enough.
Lord, teach me to trust you, that you plan to give me a full and eternal life. Let me have courage to approach you. And if I still hesitate, I give you permission to draw near to me and touch me and tell me, I choose, be made whole. Heal me Lord of my struggles against sin, against fear, against doubt. Lead me to victory over all that assail me today, because you are my only hope.