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Doctrines & Morals

If you will, you can make me clean

1 Sam. 4:1-11, Mk 1:40-45. Today's first reading narrates the battle between the Philistines and the people of Israel. After several threats, Israelites sort to wage war against the Philistines who were often invading their lands and oppressing them and because the Philistinian forces were strong, the Israelites were at a disadvantage and sought to use the Lord as their leverage. They therefore brought the Ark of the Covenant, the Ark of God’s Presence with them into battle, led by the two sons of the Judge Eli, namely Hophni and Phinehas. We have to understand the context of what happened at that time, as Hophni and Phinehas were wicked and corrupt, often taking from the sacrifices intended to be presented to God for themselves, in contravention of the Law and customs of the people of God. As such, they were evil in their deeds and their participation at the battle marred the sanctity of the Ark of the Covenant.

They exploited the Ark and hoped that the presence of God would help them to win the battle and the people of Israel brought the Ark of the Covenant from its tent in the town of Shiloh to the battle believing that if they have the Holy Ark of God’s presence with them, they will not lose the battle. They placed more trust in the holy object of God than in God. They acted superstitiously in believing in a thing rather than God whom the thing represented. Due to this misplacement of priority in the part of Israelites, the Philistines won the battle, they capture the Ark of the Covenant and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas were killed. This is to teach us that God cannot be bought: He will not be purchased by irresponsible and unfaithful minds. Only the holy and humble can get the favour and blessing of God. It is the humility and fidelity of the leper in today's Gospel that brought him healing: "If you will, he said, you can make me clean". After Jesus reassures the leper that He wills that the man receive healing. Jesus asks the man to quietly go and show himself to the priest who can declare him clean. The man could not hold in his excitement at being healed and he proclaims what Jesus has done to all whom he meets.  

May the Lord show His mercy to those who are sick and may each new day increase their trust in God! Amen!! Good morning and have a wonderful day!!!

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