Each morning the Brothers arise and gather for Morning Prayer, Meditation and Mass. Yesterday we reflected on this theme: “We approach Christ, and He responds with love.”
The reflection came from the readings of the day. St. Matthew offers us the story of the leper whom Jesus healed. The leper who showed great faith was convinced that Jesus could help him if he wanted to. But knowing that wasn’t enough; he had to do something about it as well. Despite his disfigurement and illness, he made his way through the crowd and walked up to Jesus. It took all the courage he had to declare: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus rewarded his confidence: In an instant, his leprosy was gone. But that wasn’t the end of the story.
We know the leper’s approach had basically three elements:
1) The leper came with confidence. He had no doubt that, if Jesus willed, Jesus would make him clean. He had perfect confidence in Jesus’ power.
2) The leper came with humility. He did not demand healing. It were as if he said, “I know I don’t matter; I know the other men will flee from me and will have nothing to do with me; I know that I have no claim on you; but perhaps you will give your power even to one such as I.” It is the humble heart which is conscious of nothing but its need that finds its way to Christ.
3) The leper came with reverence. That leper could never have told anyone what he thought Jesus was; but he knew that in the presence of Jesus he was in the presence of God.
And then came the reaction of Jesus. First and foremost, that reaction was compassion. For Jesus there was only one obligation in life – and that was to help.
For us now, we know the power of the touch of Christ. We are engaged in his mission on a daily level. In a very real and dramatic way we are asked to imitate the power of Christ. Pope Benedict put it this way just a few weeks ago:
"If your mission is to be truly effective -- if the words you proclaim are to touch hearts, engage people's freedom and change their lives -- you must draw them into an encounter with persons and communities who witness to the grace of Christ by their faith and their lives.”
May we continue to be graced with confidence, humility, and reverence, to respond with compassion. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade calls all of us: "It is an infinite honor to be like Him."