Approaching Jesus, approachable like Jesus

SHARE THE TRUTH

 7,293 total views

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 11 February 2024
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46 ><}}}}*> 1 Corinthian 10:31-11:1 ><}}}}*> Mark 1:40-45
Photo by Ms. Analyn Dela Torre in Caypombo, Santa Maria, Bulacan, 04 February 2024.

We have seen these past two Sundays Jesus Christ’s personal manner of relating with everyone. It had always been Jesus coming, touching, and speaking directly to the man possessed with unclean spirit at the synagogue in Capernaum on a sabbath and later the sick mother-in-law of Simon Peter at home.

Jesus has always been coming to everyone – to us – in the most personal manner. And he would always ensure all “barriers are down” around him so that we too can approach him like in our gospel this Sunday when a leper came to him for healing.

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.

Mark 1:40-42

From vaticannews.va

For the third consecutive Sunday, Mark tells us another healing by Jesus at the start of his ministry in Galilee. This is the last in the series but this is so unique because it was the sick who approached Jesus.

Most of all, that sick was afflicted with leprosy, the worst disease considered at that time when people believed (until now) that any sickness and handicap was a punishment from God for sins committed. Leprosy was the worst because it reminded them of the boils God inflicted on the Egyptians when the pharaoh refused to let them go home to their Promised Land with Moses as leader.

More than the ugly sight of the disease, leprosy became the perfect metaphor for sin and punishment. That is why God himself in the first reading personally issued the health guidelines for anyone with leprosy and similar diseases of the skin. Though God’s prescriptions were more of hygienic purposes, these took on a deeper spiritual meaning for the Israelites especially when lepers have to be separated from the community that it seemed for them, it was indeed a punishment for a grave sin.

Jesus radically changed that perception in this healing of the leper who had approached him.


A leper came to Jesus...
From wikipedia.commons.

Inasmuch as Jesus comes to us everyday as we have seen these past two Sundays, Jesus assures us today that we can always come to him like that leper.

See how this scene was unimaginable because lepers were given strict orders at that time to never approach anyone while people were supposed to drive them away. Where were the four disciples supposed to be following Jesus? And, wasn’t anyone there to restrain that leper from getting close to Jesus?

It seemed Jesus was by himself when the leper approached him as Mark never bothered to tell us of any witnesses at all nor the exact time and location of this incident because this scene happens everyday in our lives. The fact that the leper was able to get near Jesus who welcomed him warmly that day is actually the good news today - Jesus wants us to leave our comfort zones to join him in the middle of the street of his journeys!

Jesus comes to us in the most personal way everyday. And the good news is, nothing can keep us away from Jesus, even our sins which leprosy signified in this story. All barriers are down when Jesus comes and calls us to approach him. No restrictions nor appointments needed to see Jesus who simply wants us to get closest with him like when he “indignantly” told the disciples to let the children come to him (Feast of Sto. Niño, Jan. 21, 2024, Mk. 10:14).

What prevents you or keeps you away from approaching Jesus who passes by everyday?

"I do will it. Be made clean."
Painting by James Tissot (1836-1902) of “Healing of Lepers of Capernaum” from catholic-resources.org.

In his healings these past two Sundays, recall how Mark presented them to us who seemed detached or far from Jesus like spectators watching, astonished and amazed with his authority as the Son of God, all-powerful and beyond us.

This Sunday, Mark shatters all those feelings within us, telling us to dismiss all those thoughts of Jesus being hard to reach when a leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

Imagine Jesus and you as the leper in this beautiful scene, experiencing the power of his words and hands together!

The words, “I do will it. Be made clean” shows us again the authority of Jesus in his words being sufficient to effect healing like when the Roman centurion declared to him, “only say the word and my servant will be healed” (Mt. 8:8/Lk. 7:7) or when he told the unclean spirit in the man in a synagogue, “Quiet! Come out of him!” (Mk. 1:25).

What is most unique in this Sunday healing is how Jesus felt deep inside that strong love for the leper -for each of us today – that he was filled with compassion to be “Moved with pity”. It was more than an emotion or a feeling within. To be moved with pity is to have one’s heart stirred or disturbed – the literal meaning of the Latin misericordia or mercy. See now the progression from the heart of Jesus, in his compassion and mercy, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

So beautiful! And that happens everyday if we approach Jesus no matter how dark our sins are, no matter how sad we may be or even devastated. Come to your worst like that leper and Jesus will gladly welcome you, heal you, forgive you because he loves you so much!

Photo by Ms. Analyn Dela Torre in Caypombo, Santa Maria, Bulacan, 04 February 2024.
"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."
(1 Corinthians 11:1)

Oh, how easy it is to approach Jesus for sinners and weak people like us but is there anyone like Jesus who puts all barriers down to be approachable through our parents and siblings, teachers and friends, and priests to express what’s deepest in our hearts?

Is there still a St. Paul among us who can humbly declare, “Be imitators of me, as I am an imitator of Christ” who welcomes modern lepers getting near for love and affection, even company?

St. Paul may seem to be boasting to us modern people these days but if we try to understand the context of our second reading, we realize the great apostle was simply being humbly honest and true. The Christians at Corinth never saw Jesus like St. Paul. They needed a model to imitate Christ which St. Paul ably provided them with. After all, St. Paul had truly conformed himself to the crucified Christ (Gal. 2:19) as attested by the early Christians.

And while it is true we are all called to imitate Jesus, we priests are expected to be more like the Crucified Christ – approachable especially by the sick and the poor. How sad when we priests are more seen with the rich and powerful, in all their lavish parties but never or rarely with the poor. The same is true with church workers and volunteers when those at the margins find them difficult to approach. Something is gravely wrong with us if people find us priests and lay Christians difficult to approach because, clearly, we are not imitators of Christ. Have a blessed week ahead as we approach Jesus this Ash Wednesday for the 40-day journey towards Easter. Amen.

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Cybercrime

 76,150 total views

 76,150 total views Hindi natin maitatanggi, kapanalig, na talamak ang cybercrime sa ating bansa. Parami ng parami ang konektado sa internet sa ating bayan, at parami rin ng parami ang mga kriminal na nagnanais na gamitin ang kondisyon na ito bilang oportunidad para kumita. Kapanalig, kung dati, ang mga krimen na karaniwan nating naririnig ay lokal

Read More »

Financial Inclusion

 87,796 total views

 87,796 total views Limitado ang pagkaunawa ng maraming mga Filipino ukol sa financial inclusion. Marami sa atin, basta mapabilang o makasali lamang sa mga e-wallets o mga financial platforms, tinuturing na agad itong financially inclusive. Hindi ganun kasimple ito, kapanalig, at panahon na upang mas lumawak pa ang ating pag-unawa sa financial inclusion. Ayon sa Bangko

Read More »

Blue Economy

 97,043 total views

 97,043 total views Ang Pilipinas ay isang arkipelago – napapaligiran tayo ng katubigan. Kaya’t napakahalaga, kapanalig, na pamilyar tayo sa konsepto ng blue economy. Nakataya dito ang ating buhay at kinabukasan. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating lipunan. Hindi lamang pagkain, trabaho, at libangan ang dala nito. Ang mga karagatan ang nagpo-produce ng kalahati ng oxygen ng

Read More »

Sundan ang hakbang ng Negros Occidental

 102,840 total views

 102,840 total views Mga Kapanalig, pinuri ng tatlong obispo mula sa Negros Occidental na sina Bishop Patricio Buzon ng Bacolod, Bishop Louie Galbines ng Kabankalan, at Bishop Gerardo Alminaza ng San Carlos ang pamahalaang panlalawigan dahil sa inilunsad nitong programa na tinatawag na “SecuRE Negros: Ensuring Power Security with Renewable Energy.” Layunin ng programang magkaroon ang

Read More »

Sundan ang hakbang ng Negros Occidental

 115,228 total views

 115,228 total views Mga Kapanalig, pinuri ng tatlong obispo mula sa Negros Occidental na sina Bishop Patricio Buzon ng Bacolod, Bishop Louie Galbines ng Kabankalan, at Bishop Gerardo Alminaza ng San Carlos ang pamahalaang panlalawigan dahil sa inilunsad nitong programa na tinatawag na “SecuRE Negros: Ensuring Power Security with Renewable Energy.” Layunin ng programang magkaroon ang

Read More »

Watch Live

catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Why pray at all?

 3,619 total views

 3,619 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the First Week of Lent, 20 February 2024 Isaiah 55:10-11 <*((((>< + + + ><))))*> Matthew 6:7-15 Photo by author, 2019. Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Lent is seeing God in others

 3,619 total views

 3,619 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday in the First Week of Lent, 19 February 2024 Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18 ><))))*> + + + <*((((>< Matthew 25:31-46 Photo by Mr. Jay Javier in Quiapo, Manila, 09 January 2024. Today I pray dear God to

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Lent, a pilgrimage to God

 3,614 total views

 3,614 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Sunday Recipe for the Soul, Lent I-B, 18 February 2024 Genesis 9:8-15 + + 1 Peter 3:18-22 + + Mark 1:12-15 Photo by Walid Ahmad on Pexels.com Pope Benedict XVI eloquently described Lent in his first papal Lenten message in 2006 when he wrote, “Lent

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Lent is self-confrontation

 3,608 total views

 3,608 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday after Ash Wednesday, 16 February 2024 Isaiah 58:1-9  + + +  Matthew 9:14-15 Photo by author, 2020. Thank you, dear Father for this lovely season of Lent when everything is in hue of violets representing the future, the imagination and dreams, while spiritually

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Life is Lent

 3,608 total views

 3,608 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday After Ash Wednesday, 15 February 2024 Deuteronomy 30:15-20 +++ Luke 9:22-25 Photo from petalrepublic.com. Our most loving and merciful Father, thank you for this new season of Lent, in giving us this most wonderful occasion to reflect on life’s meaning we always confuse as

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

True love leads to freedom: Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day

 3,608 total views

 3,608 total views Forty Days of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Ash Wednesday, 14 February 2024 Joel 2:12-18 + 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 + Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Illustration from Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, 14 February 2018. This is not the first time that Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday, the start of the holy season of Lent of 40 days

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Praying on the eve of Ash Wednesday

 3,608 total views

 3,608 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 13 February 2024 James 1:12-18 <*((((>< + ><))))*> + <*((((>< + ><))))*>  Mark 8:14-21 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD, at Bgy. Tagalag, Valenzuela City, 2023. On this

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Sigh, and be kind!

 6,601 total views

 6,601 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 12 February 2023 James 1:1-11  ><))))*> + ><))))*> + ><))))*>  Mark 8:11-13 Photo by author, Lake of Galilee in Israel, May 2019. Dear Jesus: I love that word “kind”

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God does everything so well

 7,533 total views

 7,533 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 09 February 2024 1 Kings 11:29-32, 12:19  ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*>  Mark 7:31-37 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD, an orange-bellied flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) somewhere in the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Light a candle to pray better.

 7,858 total views

 7,858 total views Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 08 February 2024 Photo by Irina Anastasiu on Pexels.com Last Friday was the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple (February 2) also known as the Feast of the Candlemass wherein candles were blessed outside the church after which the people led by the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Wisdom of Solomon

 7,995 total views

 7,995 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 07 February 2024 1 Kings 10:1-10  <*((((>< + ><))))*> + <*((((>< + ><))))*>  Mark 7:14-23 Photo by Ms. Analyn Dela Torre at Caypombo, Santa Maria, Bulacan, 04 February 2024.

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God our foundation

 8,106 total views

 8,106 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday, Memorial of Sts. Pedro Bautista, Paul Miki & Companion Martyrs, 06 February 2024 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30  <*[[[[>< + ><]]]]’>  Mark 7:1-13 Photo by author, Jerusalem 2017. Dear God our Father, thank you for being for us, thank

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

We are God’s dwelling, praying for cancer patients

 8,083 total views

 8,083 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday, Memorial of St. Agatha, Virgin & Martyr, 05 February 2024 1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13  <*((((>< + ><))))*>  Mark 6:53-56 Photo by Mr. Boy Cabrido, kids playing “piko” outside patio of the National Shrine of St. Michael & the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Real power empowers

 8,546 total views

 8,546 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 04 February 2024 Job 7:1-4, 6-7 ><}}}}*> 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 ><}}}}*> Mark 1:29-39 Photo by The Good Brigade/Digital Vision/Getty Images via cnn.com. There’s another “war” happening that had actually

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Praying to see Christ, the true light

 6,786 total views

 6,786 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 02 February 2024 Malachi 3:1-4  ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*>  Luke 2:22-40 Presentation in the Temple painting by Fra Angelico from fineartamerica.com. On this most joyous feast of the Lord’s Presentation

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top