Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Second Sunday in Great Lent

Sermon / Homily on St. Luke 5: 12-16

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Great Lent - Leper's Sunday

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Malankara World Board Member

Gospel: Luke 5:12-16

Jesus reached out and touched him. "I'm willing," he said. "Be healed!" And instantly the leprosy disappeared.
(Luke: 5:13)

Immunity for all types of sickness is embedded in the loving touch of human hands. By distancing ourselves from others, we are prone to all types of illnesses - mental, spiritual, physical and emotional. Individuals are creating their own islands of seclusion and becoming mechanical machines.

Earlier, leprosy was a feared disease because there was no known cure for it, and some forms were highly contagious. Its impact was very fearsome and terrible. Now though leprosy is curable, people still consider lepers as untouchables. Jesus heard the cries of the leper and He reached out and touched him. Immediately the leprosy disappeared.

We now have a number of illnesses, some of them undiagnosed and some even more terrifying than leprosy. We live in a society where people are unloved and uncared for - the sick, the old, parents, children etc. There are millions in pain longing for a word of love or a caring touch. We are in dire need for the great, compassionate and loving Jesus to reach out and touch us with the words of "I am willing and be healed." Who is there to listen and act? Everyone is busy with their work and lives.

We do not reach out to others in their times of need or sickness. But didn't God create human beings in his own image to act for him? Like what God did for the leper, we are supposed to help others when they are sick and need assistance. There is healing power in all our hands if we use it with love to embrace the unloved and the uncared.

Our homes, families and churches are in desperate need of the touch of Christ. Pastor Rick Warren writes his living experience of the power of touch, "I recently got this note on a registration card: 'Pastor Rick, I canít tell you what it mean to me in comfort today. I felt as though Jesus was hugging me in such compassion and tenderness. I now know I will make it through this scary time and I know he sent you to help me. It's wonderful that there is such care and love in this church. Thank you.' I had no idea when I had hugged her. She was going in for breast cancer surgery the next day.'

Why cannot our priests, bishops, parents, siblings and friends express their love and care through their compassionate eyes, caring hands, soothing words, meaningful actions, and the body as a whole, and not with pastoral staff, gold, steel, silver or wooden crosses? We are all in need of warm hugs from loved ones; this is especially true in case of those suffering from terminal illnesses who feel they have nothing to hope for.

Can you be the one to show your love and tell them that Jesus cares and an eternal life awaits them?

[Rev. V. V. Paulose is with the Jerusalem Christian Mission in Toronto, Canada]

See Also:

Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy
by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil

Garbo Sunday or Sunday of the Leper
by Rev. Fr. Paulose T. Peter, New York

Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of the Leper
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Jesus Touched a Leper
by Dn. Monsy Manimalethu Jacob

Sermon for the Second Sunday of the Great Lent
by Mrs. Aju Tharian

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for 2nd Sunday in Great Lent (Garbo Sunday)

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