In our gospel we hear the story of Jesus healing the leper and telling him ‘see that you tell no one anything.’ Of course, the first thing the leper did was go and tell people. “Soon it became impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly…People kept coming to him from everywhere.” Jesus heals the man out of pity, but his mission is not to go around healing everyone. His mission is to build up the Kingdom of God. The healings – while certainly positive work – are truly for the purpose of forwarding the acceptance and desire of the Kingdom of God.
As Vincentians, I suspect you too have experienced the ‘glut of responses’ to help you provide to one person. You know what I mean – you help one person in an apartment complex, and suddenly there are six more in need. It can be overwhelming, it can be frustrating, and it can be draining. It can be one of those times when we question the integrity of people and maybe – not see God quite as much present in them. It is one of those times when we need to step back a little to keep perspective. We need to go to the Lord in prayer for patience and mercy. When we do, we begin to recognize the despair that leads people to reach out begging as the leper did. Through prayer we find the kindness to be the face of Christ to someone who may feel isolated and alone. It is at those times perhaps – that we recognize that our mission is not the individual service to anyone client, but our need to be the presence and face of Christ for others so that we may grow in holiness and find Christ within ourselves.
Lord Jesus, Help me to stay humble and to grow in patience and kindness when confronted despair of others. Allow me to hear in their voices the suffering you endured on the cross for me, that I might bow down and beg your forgiveness for those times when I have been prideful, self-centered and judgmental. Help me to always remember to come to you prayerfully, seeking your guidance in all things. We pray all of this in your name. Amen