January 7, 2022
Friday after Epiphany
Readings for Today
Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest—Optional Memorial
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” Luke 5:12–13a
Once again, we have the image of falling prostrate before our Lord. This time it’s by a leper. But just this past week, as we celebrated the Epiphany, we were reminded of the three Magi from the East who also came to adore Christ and fell prostrate before Him.
Perhaps we all would like to see ourselves as the Magi, coming to seek out Christ as individuals who are prestigious and admired by others in society. The Magi would certainly have been seen that way. However, we should not fail to also see ourselves as similar to this leper who came to Jesus in his weakness and frailty, falling down before our Lord begging for mercy. No, we may not have leprosy, literally, but we do all come to Jesus sick and in need of His mercy and healing touch.
Notice what Jesus did. He “stretched out His hand, touched him,” and then healed him. Jesus did not hesitate, He did not treat the leper with any disdain, nor did He lack the least bit of compassion. Jesus immediately poured forth His healing grace into the leper’s life.
As we draw close to the conclusion of the Christmas season with the coming celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, we should be reminded that we have all been touched by Christ in Baptism. This “touch” continues throughout our lives. It is a touch that sanctifies and transforms. It’s a touch that heals and consoles. Let yourself experience Jesus’ mercy by coming to Him with humility as you acknowledge your need for grace. Do not be afraid to abandon yourself before Him, knowing for certain that He will not hesitate for a moment to reach out and offer you the abundance of His mercy.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean. If You wish, You can heal me, forgive me, strengthen me and love me. I thank You in advance because I know that You do desire and choose to bless me in these and in every other way that I need. Thank You for Your mercy and grace and thank You for accepting me in my weakness. I love You, my Lord, and I do choose to fall down prostrate before You in love and adoration. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest—Optional Memorial
Featured image above: Healing of the Lepers at Capernaum By James Tissot, via brooklynmuseum.org
Daily Reflections for Ordinary Time:
Daily Reflections for Ordinary Time: Weeks 1–17 from the Catholic Daily Reflections Series is a daily devotional offering reflections on the Gospel of the day in a practical, faithful and down-to-earth way. The eBook and paperback versions are formatted in such a way that this book can be used year after year. Reflections are not specifically dated for Ordinary Time 2022 but cover every option for this and future liturgical years, making it a devotional that can be used from year to year.