Date: June 26, 2020 ()

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In yesterday’s reading, Zedekiah was appointed by King Nebuchadnezzar to become king of Israel. However, later in Zedekiah’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar destroyed and occupied Jerusalem and stripped his brother of power and throne. What was wrong with Zedekiah, his brother, to deserve such a harsh punishment? The story seems to suggest that Zedekiah and the rest of his officials lost their loyalty to the king of Babylon. They transgressed to the king; therefore, judgment will come upon them.

Unlike Nebuchadnezzar, Yahweh is the King who is not quick to judge and who does not inflict punishment right away. He patiently waits for the sinner to repent like the repentance of King Manasseh, the forefather of King Jehoiachin, who preceded Zedekiah. But unfortunately, Jehoiachin was chastised severely and deposed from his throne for wasting the chances God has given to Israel. God desires mercy and restoration unless we don’t want His mercy.

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus encounters a leper. We know, in the scriptures, those who have ailments such as leprosy are signs of curse and sin. Lepers become outcasts because people judge them. Rejection is like adding insult to injury and it could be severely devastating to the person. This is what lepers only get from a community that condemns.

But with Jesus, he was forgiven, accepted, and healed - no question whatsoever except a pure desire to restore. The leper pleaded: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” And Jesus touched him and said: I will do it. Be made clean.”

During a two-month hospital exposure back to my formation years, I remember a place in the hospital called Isolation Ward where patients with infectious disease stay. I was wondering why there were other people inside the room aside from the patients. I realized they were mostly mothers or spouses. They risked the chance of getting infected too if only to let their loved ones know that they care. Only those who truly love have the capacity to share with the pain of their beloved with the intention to comfort and heal. Such is the love of the Lord. “Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

Our mission is: Can we be numbered among those who show care to the vulnerable, poor, and abandoned? Can we be forgiving to our weak brothers and sisters who need our guidance and understanding?