The purification! Be purified! A slogan that has caused much ink to flow, and not the best water. Impurity, experienced as an infamy, and purity its reverse, an ideal in itself, an almost absolute value that obsesses us, that we idolize, even if it means preferring it to God. The Cathar heresy, which advocates a religion of the pure, is unfortunately on all calendars. So often we equate impurity with filth, with unworthiness. Something that damages us so much that we no longer deserve belonging to the group, that of the “hard-core” precisely, a guilt whose worst stain is to remove us from the eyes of God and his consideration. But to purify is not to clean up dirt! After the Eucharist, the deacon “purifies” chalice and ciborium. Not that they were dirty, they contained the body and blood of Christ! We do not do the dishes: after what they have just contained, we restore these utensils to normal life. In the Jewish rite already, a woman had to purify herself after having given life, not that she was soiled with it: on the contrary! After she has accomplished something sacred, she is brought back to ordinary life. The beautiful scandal of the Gospel is that Christ approaches our impurities, touches them and never turns away from them. For him, purity, except that of the heart, which is quite different, is not bliss in itself. To be purified is first of all to be blessed and returned to the full regime of life. Life restored, ordinary life, but at full speed! The one that, for everyone, God wants so intensely.
So many mistakes in this healing! Jesus, who is not first there to be the doctor, did not know how to contain his heart. The ex-leper, he, to his joy, could not hold his tongue. So nothing goes as planned, and that’s what is beautiful: the unforeseen events of love! Jesus did not want to be the healer or the miracle worker, but as soon as a poor man comes to him, he is upset. He doesn’t know how to refuse, almost reluctantly. He cracks. In the face of suffering, Jesus is weak and he knows it. There are indeed irresistible prayers, which always get the better of him. That of the leper, one of the most beautiful, and the shortest: if you want, you can cure me. ” If you want it. “ Four little words that hit the mark because they appeal to the love of Christ. Beautiful daring of one who dares to claim to be the joy of Jesus, whose depth of heart he senses. And it reaches its target, because it is indeed out of love, through excess of love that God thus finds himself at the crossroads of our paths, delivered to our pleas. The most incurable of lepers, the most unforgivable of sins never resist the overflow of his heart. In truth, he was not very careful and he will pay dearly for it. “He could no longer openly enter a city, stayed away in deserted places. The curse that struck the leper is now upon him. The outcast now is him. Tomorrow he will be scoffed at, dragged out of town like a leper. His flesh will be nothing more than a plague, like that of the leper. And he knows it well. This man, he didn’t just heal him, he secretly gave his life to him. The cross of love could not wait for Golgotha.
Lord, put the simple words of the leper on our lips and give us the courage to pray and ask God.
Lord, look with love on the lepers of our life: you who have no disgust for any, come and touch and purify them.
Lord, look with love on the lepers of our world: help us to heal them and not to despair of any.