Today's Gospel: Luke 5:12-16 For three years, I have battled dyshidrotic eczema on my hands. Every time someone extends a friendly hand towards me, I panic. Immediately, I withdraw my hand and make a joke about how I need a sign that reads, "Leprosy, Unclean." While the moments which allow me an opportunity to explain my recoil are embarrassing, the ones when I cannot, such as during the Sign of Peace, can be mortifying. Aside from the humiliation, it is also isolating. Before developing eczema, I took for granted the connection to others that human touch allows. The leper in today's gospel was isolated and longed to reconnect to his community. We all have something we feel isolates us. The man merely needed to ask to receive healing from Jesus. What joy the leper must have experienced in those words, "I do will it." Too numerous are the times I have prayed, "Lord, if you wish, please make me clean," and while I have seen some improvement, the disease continues. Sometimes I read this Gospel and wonder what I am doing wrong. Am I not praying hard enough, or do I lack faith? Did I anger Him, or is He ignoring me? Why would Jesus not will to heal me? My antidote to the erroneous thought that unanswered prayer reflects a cold-shoulder from Jesus, is the words from Isaiah 55:8-9. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts." I may not understand why my "leprosy" continues; however, I can be assured of two things. Jesus absolutely loves me, and He will always answer my prayers according to His perfect will. In the meantime, I'll continue honing my virtue of humility.


What do you perceive in your life that isolates you? Are you willing to boldly ask for healing, as the leper did? Are you willing to accept God’s plan, if it differs from yours?


Lord, may I never doubt Your love for me or Your will for my life. Whatever the suffering, I do believe You have heard and answered my prayers. Whether the answer is yes, no, or not yet, may I continue to glorify You and to share the good You do in my life.
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