Master, If You Want To
Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, "Master, if you want to, you can heal my body." Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be clean." Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, "Don't talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done." MATTHEW 8:1-4
The leper is the needy person in extremis: cut off, lonely, shunned. But no needy condition is so extreme or so absolute that we are consigned to despair. There is hope in God. The approach, timid and tentative-" if you want to" -unexpectedly finds a bold and positive desire to save: "I want to."
What was so bad about being a leper?
I want cleansing, dear Christ, quite as much as that leper. But in your way; what you will. I want my life to be shaped not by my demands, but by the sure and mysterious movement of your grace. Amen.