Friday, 11 January 2019 : Friday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the words of the Scripture telling us about the healing which the Lord Jesus performed on a leper, who asked Him to heal him of his condition, and the Lord was moved by his sincerity of faith and his plight, and healed him off from his leprosy. And we heard how many more people came to the Lord Jesus asking to be healed from their own sicknesses and conditions.

Through this we have seen how Christ is the source of our healing and of our salvation. There is no other Name by which we can be saved, and there is no other means by which we can escape our fated destruction. Through Him mankind have received healing from its predicament, just as the leper was healed from his leprosy. Sin is also like that of the sickness of leprosy, ever spreading and ever growing.

However, unlike leprosy, that affects only the physical body and the flesh, but cannot affect the mind, the heart and the soul, sin is far more dangerous, for sin affects the deepest parts of our own beings, corrupting us deep within our souls, and the consequences of sin are eternal, for the soul is eternal. Leprosy cannot affect us beyond this mortal life, but sin can bring about our downfall and eternal suffering.

Leprosy is a disease that can be cured by many means, and there are ways that leprosy can be easily handled, especially in our modern world today where medical technology has advanced to a great extent, that many of the diseases known to us are easily curable. But sin alone has no cure in any human and worldly means, for in God alone, that we can find our cure from sin. He alone has the power and the authority to forgive us from our sins.

St. John mentioned in his Epistle, that there are three testimonies that proclaim before us how God’s salvation and healing have come down upon us through Christ His Son, namely the testimony of the Spirit, water and the Blood. What does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? This is a reminder of the proof which has occurred in history, showing us that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Saviour of the world, promised by God to us, His beloved ones.

The Spirit of God present in us all have recognised Christ’s presence in our midst, as Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist recognised the One Who was in Mary’s womb, as well as her yet unborn son, who rejoiced upon feeling the presence of the Messiah in his proximity. And Mary herself was also filled with the Holy Spirit, praising God in a beautiful song, the Magnificat, proclaiming the great wonders that God has done.

Then, when the Lord Jesus was baptised by St. John the Baptist in the river Jordan, we saw the Holy Spirit descending down upon Him, with the word of God spoken, revealing the Divinity of Christ, Son of the Father. Again, we see in this instance how God has revealed His truth before all, in revealing the salvation that He was about to bring into His people’s midst, through Jesus Christ, His Son.

And lastly, at the moment of the crucifixion, when Christ laid down His life on the cross, He laid down His Body and Blood for the salvation of the world, and we heard how one of the Roman soldiers, who was tasked to check if Jesus had died, pierced His side and immediately water and blood poured forth. The soldier who witnessed that miracle became a believer, St. Longinus, the bearer of the Holy Lance that pierced the side of the Lord.

That occasion again proclaimed the truth about Christ, for the water and the blood represented the two natures of Christ, as a Man and as a Divine, two natures united in the single person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the One Who laid His life on the cross is not just a mere Man, but God Himself, incarnate in the flesh, and it is by His perfect and worthy offering, that we have been saved from eternal damnation.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we willing then now to allow the Lord to come into our midst and heal us from our afflictions? Do we truly believe in Him, that He is our Lord and Saviour, by Whose authority and power alone we can be healed from our sins? If we truly believe in Him and in His power to heal us, then now, we need to put ourselves in the hands of God, and entrust ourselves to His loving care.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all turn towards God with a renewed faith from now on, loving Him ever more sincerely, with an ever greater commitment, knowing that in Him alone we have the hope of salvation, and liberation from the pain of eternal death. May God, our loving Father and Saviour, continue to love us and to bless us, in each and every days of our lives. Amen.

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