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Friday, February 13, 2015

American Individualism, Isolation and Relationship with Jesus

The faith of this leper is great: "if you desire it, you can make me clean". His leprosy was worst case scenario: his entire body covered. 

Escriv√° Forge 665: The power of working miracles! How many dead — and even rotting — souls you will raise, if you let Christ act in you.
In those days, the Gospel tells us, the Lord was passing by; and they, the sick, called to him and sought him out. Now, too, Christ is passing by, in your Christian life. If you second him, many will come to know him, will call to him, will ask him for help: and their eyes will be opened to the marvellous light of grace.

For the Jewish community, isolation was probably the most difficult part of leprosy. It was so hard for that person to be forced out of society and all of their relationships.
I find it interesting that we in a highltechnological society fail to appreciate the pain and challenge of isolation, even as we experience it even more frequentlybut in different ways.  The United States was in many ways founded on getting away from others and promoting the individual. And that individualism creates within us a unique fear for the exact thing we were created for: community and relationship.
The leper today goes to Jesus in order to seek healing. However, he also submits himself to what the Lord's will is: "if you will let, you can make me clean." That vulnerability is exactly what so many people are afraid of in their relationships. We don't want to be hurt, so we don't allow ourselves to open up to another.

Are we afraid of getting close to Jesus because it might mean shattering are individualism, overcoming our fears of relationship, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the hands of another? Although this might make sense in other relationships, it does not make sense with Christ. He loves us perfectly. We know this even better than the leper. Look at the cross. You don't need to be afraid of someone who will love you like this.

If we want miracles to happen in our lives and the lives of our loved ones, we half to get close to Jesus. We half to be vulnerable enough to let him take control and change us. That is exactly what prayer is meant to do, abandoning our hearts and souls and futures to the living God.

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