With the destruction of the temple, the tearing down of the city walls, and the execution of the sons of King Zedekiah, the royal line of David is effectively ended, the citizens of the southern kingdom of Judah are sent off into exile (the northern kingdom of Israel had fallen a little over a hundred years prior), and the desolation of God’s people is complete. It would seem at that time that God had decisively abandoned the children of Abraham because they had been unfaithful and had dishonored the covenant. It was complete absurdity to even suggest it wasn’t as bad as it seems, and they will recover from this tragic development, and that tomorrow will be a brand new day.
Such is the desolation experienced by those afflicted with leprosy in Jesus’ day (and for hundreds of years after even). A leper was cut off from family and friends, sent to live in exile among other lepers, regarded as unclean by religious leaders, and barred from interaction with society altogether. Any added misfortune would matter little. And yet when one thus afflicted called upon Jesus for healing, he was not turned down. He was prepared for rejection–“If you wish, you can make me clean.” It wouldn’t be his first. But Jesus did not only “wish it,” he even stretched out his hand and touched him. As Jesus shows us, God desires our healing, no matter that our alienation is caused by a physical or spiritual affliction. God even bridges the gap by stretching his hand out to us.
We know that God’s people did return from exile to rebuild and see better days. And despite any present suffering, even Israel’s unfaithfulness, God remains faithful to his promise. Similarly God who has called us to covenant will always remain faithful. All we need do is call out to him. God desires our healing and will find a way to bridge that chasm of destruction and despair that separates us from him.
This mass was offered for the repose of +Gary Kessler.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020