Nestled in the second Book of Kings, chapter 5, with its 27 verses appears the fascinating person of Naaman. Highly gifted as a military commander of the king of Aram, also highly esteemed and respected by his master and Lord the King, nonetheless Naaman lived with an unspeakable painful suffering: he was a leper!
Have you ever met a leper personally? No! Try looking in the mirror the first opportunity that presents itself and you will indeed discover the face of a leper. Many now are shocked at this assertion! However, let me defend my position! There are two forms of leprosy: the physical leprosy that is a horrible skin disease—one of the worse diseases in the times of Jesus and the days of the Old Testament; furthermore there is the leprosy contracted by SIN! SIN IS MORAL/SPIRITUAL LEPROSY!Whether we like it or not, admit it or live in denial, at the moment of conception in our mother’s womb, we contracted leprosy by inheriting from our first parents Adam and Eve the stain and contagion of Original Sin. Adding to this initial leprosy are the many personal/actual sins that we commit; some are venial and unfortunately, others are mortal. Some are small blemishes; others are gaping, ulcerous wounds!
When do we contract leprosy in our soul? Remember that sin indeed is “leprosy of the soul”. Let us examine ourselves from head to foot! THE MIND! Every time we willingly allow the smut of
moral filth to enter in through the windowpanes of our mind, leprosy! Are bad thoughts sins? No, if we reject them; but yes of we give full consent! Many spiritual lepers today walk the streets
with their minds rotting with the filth of leprosy!
ugly romantic relationships and dwelling on them, then we have contracted leprosy of the memory.
any attempt to correct them, listening to bad words, and listening to off-colored jokes, listening to somebody bad-mouth your mother-in-law—- if you have given in to listening willingly to any species of this conversation, then own up to it, you have contracted leprosy of the ears!
that your tongue is coated with thick layers of leprosy! To help in our struggle to cure the tongue of
leprosy recall to mind two enormous support-tools: 1st , the purpose of speech—-it is to communicate the truth with love; 2nd , recall also that on your tongue is deposited(better yet “enthroned”) the Lord of Lord and King of Kings the Eucharistic Lord every time you receive Him in Holy Communion! Nothing unworthy of such a noble King should every issue from the throne which is your tongue!
can be added the sin of gluttony in its various manifestations. Let us go through the check list once again. Do you eat too much, drink too much, smoke to harm you, inhale marijuana or
other drugs, imbibe drugs for the purpose of escaping from the problems of
life. If you have willingly collapsed to the sin of gluttony, once again admit it; you have contracted the disease of leprosy! Remember the words of St. Paul, who wrote under the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit, “Remember that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; glorify
God in your bodies….. “ Also, “Whether you eat or drink, do all for the honor and glory of God…” Paul finally reminds us not to adore the god of our belly!
LEPRSOY OF THE HEART. Indeed the many forms of leprosy find their origin and genesis in the human heart. Indeed from the very center of the human person— the heart—that is where leprosy must be detected, admitted, confessed, and extracted! Let us do the check list once again! Impure motives and intentions, adulterous thoughts, willful anger, bitterness, vindictiveness, envy, jealousy, rivalry, licentious, lewd and lascivious affections and desires, arrogance, conceitedness, a haughty attitude, selfishness and unbridled desire for pleasure. If these fruits of the flesh are not curtailed, curbed and smothered, like a huge conflagration they can consume us and transform us into monsters as well as first class lepers!
HOUSE! As a remedy for all of these forms leprosy—mind, eyes, ears, tongue, and heart—there is the best of “Doctors” and the name of that “Doctor” is Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician. Jesus came into this world as our Elder-Brother, but also to heal us and to save us! Even though Jesus ascended into heaven and
is seated at the right hand of God the Father, He promised to send His Spirit
upon us and to remain with us always even until the end of time. How and where?
Response— In the Church, His Mystical Body, specifically, through the
to foot, if we are nothing more than a gaping wound, if indeed our whole being
is nothing more than a repulsive oozing ulcer, then Jesus is in the business
especially for the worse and the apparently most “Repulsive and repugnant of
lepers” (these we call sinners/spiritual lepers) St. Paul consoles us with
these assuring words: “Where sin abounds the mercy of God abounds all the
the church (in particular, the confessional). The Healer is Jesus Himself, the
Divine Physician. However, Jesus is present in the person of the Catholic
priest—who indeed works in “persona Christi” or “alter christus” (St.
Augustine). As Jesus healed many lepers
during the course of his public ministry by either touching them or by His mere
word, he continues to heal the leprosy of sin through the Sacrament of healing
which is confession.
Back to Naaman! As Naaman bathed seven
times in the Jordan River and his leprous flesh became like the flesh of a
little child. (II Kings 5:14). You do not have to go to the nearest
river and bath seven times but dive into the nearest confessional and bring all
of your leprosy to the Lord Jesus through the priest with faith, true
repentance, and boundless trust in His mercy. “And even though your sins be
like scarlet they will be made as white as the snow.”
around the world with our leprosy and transmit our leprosy— which is a highly
contagious disease to others! On the contrary, Jesus is the Wounded-Healer, the
Divine Physician, indeed our lover and Friend. Jesus will heal us, save us and
bring us to our eternal home, heaven, where with Mary we
will praise him with pure and innocent hearts for all eternity!