The Gospel shows us the pity of Jesus towards the leper. The leper came to Jesus begging him and kneeling and said If you choose, you can make me clean. This leper broke the law and Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, I do choose. Be made clean! From this, we see it is God’s will that we be healed, in the case of the leper, that he be restored to his family and his community. Yet, despite this plan of the Lord, that we be made whole, many still refuse to listen to him.
The First Reading tells us: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. Many still refuse to come to Jesus even if God has the best planned for them. The First Reading continues: they always go astray in their hearts, and they have not known my ways. God’s ways are true and they lead straight to God. Yet, many refuse to listen to his Word and obey him. They choose to go astray. The author says: exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end.
Sin deceives. It makes us think evil is far better than the plan of God. We see this in many people who choose to believe opinions of men, because these opinions give them to license to do what they want. But Scripture warns us not to be hardened by sin. Sin destroys our life. It leads us away from God. The dangerous thing is it leads us off a little making us think we are still in the right path when in fact, it leads to destruction. This happens when we compromise a little, then a little more, until all of a sudden, we find ourselves totally lost and far from God’s path.
The Psalm calls us: come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. When we think we lose that sense of awe and respect for God, then we will drift from his way. The only way that we are sure to remain in his path is to acknowledge who he is: the Lord our Maker. He made us, he knows us for who we are. He knows our weaknesses and strengths. We are the people he pastures and the sheep of his hand. We follow God and no other.
Lord, teach me to trust you, to have that reverence for you. May I never stray from you.