Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” LK 5:12The weather this morning forced me into the gym and onto the treadmill. So as I was runningandpraying on the treadmill I kept coming back to this first verse of today's Gospel. This verse I think addresses 2 profound yet prevalent misconceptions about Christianity.
On one hand, there is a notion that Christians believe they are perfect and don't sin and don't need to be made clean. But that is just not true. We are all like this leper, full of sin that is eating away our life. That doesn't mean we cannot approach our Lord. Rather, it means that we must approach Him because He is the one who can make us clean.
On the other hand, a lot of people have the idea that Christians think they merely need to say "Jesus is my Savior" and they can do whatever they wish. They are after all, saved. Right? Again, this just doesn't ring true. The leper here falls prostrate and pleads with Jesus. If I look at this man as myself and his leprosy as my own sinfulness I see that he is contrite and truly wants to be made clean. He doesn't expect Jesus to accept him the way he his but also acknowledges that it is Christ who can expel the leprosy.