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Faith Daily | 8 January 2021

PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany

O God,

by the leading of a star

you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:

mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,

may after this life be led to the vision

of your glorious Godhead;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 5: 12-16

12 Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy.* When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ 13Then Jesus* stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do choose. Be made clean.’ Immediately the leprosy* left him. 14And he ordered him to tell no one. ‘Go’, he said, ‘and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.’ 15But now more than ever the word about Jesus* spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. 16But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Mary Rose

Here we have a leper, someone who was excluded from society and shunned by everyone. What courage he showed to come so close to Jesus; we are told he was an arm’s distance away. He has heard how Jesus can heal all diseases and infirmities and this gives him the courage to bow before Jesus and the faith to beg him for healing.

Notice that he says if Jesus chooses he can heal him, he is not confident he is used to rejection,. What joy when Jesus doesn’t send him away; he reaches out and touches him and says ‘I do choose. Be made clean.’ Jesus shows such compassion when he touches the leper; a man deprived of all human contact. He didn’t need to touch him to heal him!

I was reminded of Princess Diana who in a time when AIDS sufferers were ostracized showed similar compassion in touching a sufferer, an action which removed a lot of the stigma which was common in society at the time. I also think of Mother Teresa who picked up the ones who had been thrown away in the streets and gave them comfort and dignity which they had never known.

Jesus then tells him to do what is needed under the law before he can return to society. Remember that Jesus told his followers ‘I do not come to abolish the law’ (Matt.5.17).

Jesus’ reputation as a healer was spreading and we are told that ‘many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases’. How exhausting this ministry must have been with people constantly asking for healing so we are told that Jesus must withdraw to a quiet place where he can pray and renew his strength.


Saving God,

whose Son, Jesus Christ, healed the sick

and brought them wholeness of body and mind:

inspire us, his disciples,

so that we may constantly proclaim his gospel

by our words

and by the dedication and integrity of our lives;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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