JUNE 25. Ord Time B. Wk 12. Fri. Mt. 8. 1-4.
After Jesus had come down from the mountain large crowds followed him. A leper now came up and bowed low in front of him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’ Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ And his leprosy was cured at once. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Mind you do not tell anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence for them.’
This reading takes place at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, as Jesus “came down from the mount” where he taught his followers a completely different set of values to that practiced by the society in which they lived.
And does not the contrast that existed in Jesus’ time not still continue today; - which shows the world’s ways continue just as they were when Jesus was living amongst us? In fact, as a result of the modern media which exists in today’s society the world is much more active in promoting its values; - especially to the young and vulnerable.
Christ was aware of this contrast in values and this is why, at the conclusion of outlining his own values, he immediately performed a miracle; - probably in front of large numbers of people as they left the mountainside.
These miracles, which make us a large part of the Gospels, were very necessary at the time in order to demonstrate to everybody Jesus was divine; - and that he had been sent by God; - and these miracles were actually the reason he had so many followers.
But his miracles had a purpose; - to encourage the early members of the Church to have Faith!
And this is why, at the end of his life, Christ performed his “miracle of all miracles”; - his own Resurrection from the dead; - which is why St Paul was able to say, “If Christ has not been raised from the dead; - then we are all still in our sins!”
The establishment of Faith in Jesus Christ and in his Church was one of the primary reasons for Christ becoming a man; - the others being the need to make reparation for the sins of mankind; - and to teach us how our Creator wants us to live.
And these goals, or purposes of Christ’s life on earth, remain the same goals and purposes for the lives of Christians; - those who believe in and follow Christ.
We are called on to have Faith! - To make reparation for sin by renouncing both our own desires and the values of the world! – And to imitate the life of Christ, and to follow his teachings!
And following the death and resurrection of Christ the need for miracles had concluded!
Christ’s followers were now expected to live and follow his teachings, not because of the miracles he performed; - but because of the gift of Faith that he had left his Church! A Faith that is bestowed on each of us at our Baptism!!
O, what a wonderful gift God bestowed on us in our Faith? It lets us bear witness to our Love of God! - To renounce our desires in order to do his Will! – To believe in his Church, its teachings and Sacraments (especially the Eucharist); - and to Praise and Adore him via Prayer!
Gospel Acclamation Mt8:17
He bore our sicknesses;
he endured our suffering.