Daily Gospel Reflection – Friday after Epiphany
Friday after Epiphany
January 7, 2022
Gospel: Lk 5:12-16
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, our Gospel for today has to do with Jesus’ healing of a leper. Leprosy frightened people in ancient times, just as contagious and mysterious diseases frightened people up through modern times. But, more than this, leprosy rendered someone unclean and therefore incapable of engaging in the act of worship. It is not accidental that the person who should do the examining of the patient in ancient Israel should be the priest.
The man who knelt before Jesus and begged for a cure was not simply concerned about his medical condition; he was an Israelite in exile from the temple—and hence he was a very apt symbol of the general condition of scattered, exiled, wandering Israel. In curing him, Jesus was, symbolically speaking, gathering the tribes and bringing them back to the worship of the true God.