“And he charged him to tell no one; but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” (Luke 5:14)
In the healing of the leper in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus told the leper; “Go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded….” It is interesting to note that this was the same thing Jesus said to the ten lepers who eventually became cured while on their way to the priest. In this incidence, Jesus shows the depth of his respect for the priesthood as well his willingness to abide by the rules.
Jesus never joked with his devotions. As our Gospel passage concludes, whenever he was done attending to the great crowds, he always withdrew to the wilderness all by himself to pray! Jesus had a regular pattern of prayers. He never missed the meetings in the synagogues. As Luke puts it: “he went to the synagogue, as his custom was…” (Luke 4:16) To be devoted to God is one precious gift we can offer. Serving God should never be a matter of convenience. It must be a personal discipline. If you always wait to “feel like” it, before doing it, then it is not so important to you. If you only pray or go to church when you feel like, it means God is not important to you. Devotion demands self-discipline; it is doing something you might not entirely enjoy until it becomes part of you.
Devotions require self-discipline, it also require a large dose of faith. This is because there are times when prayer becomes very dry and dull, times when Satan makes us believe there are more important or more exciting things to do. Without faith in the power and efficacy of our daily devotions, we end up procrastinating to our detriment. Faith keeps us going. As St. John teaches us, faith is our victory over the world. “Who is it that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1st John 5:5). Without faith, our acts of devotion become lifeless. No wonder the book of Hebrews teaches us that without faith, we cannot please God “for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me grace to carry on my devotions especially when I am discouraged. Amen.
Bible Study: 1st John 5:5-13, Psalm 147 and Luke 5:12-16).