Today’s Gospel is full of irony. Jesus performs a miracle for a leper, but tells the leper to tell nobody how this healing happened. All the leper is to do is present himself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses. Understandably, due to the excitement of being healed, the leper tells everyone about his healing. At one level, we can feel empathy for the leper – who wouldn’t want to share a great miracle in their life? However, we then read on and see the effects of the leper telling people what Jesus did: Jesus wasn’t able to enter a town openly. It is an odd irony that sometimes sharing what God has done in our life can create obstacles for Jesus to encounter other people.
On personal reflection on this passage is that sometimes we find it more challenging to make good decisions about faith when we get older versus when I was younger. Before, choices were pretty simple. We knew what was right and we knew what was wrong and most of the situations we faced had a clear moral good and a clear moral evil to choose from. Even when we chose a moral evil, we knew that we chose something that was wrong and knew what we needed to do to receive God’s forgiveness. However, as we go through so many experiences in life the struggle is answering the question, “How do I choose what God desires amid all of the spiritual goods that are placed before me?” It is more difficult to choose the one good necessary for us amid many good options set before us versus choosing the good amid other choices that are clear moral evils. To apply this to today’s Gospel, the greatest good for the leper was to be obedient to Christ instead of innocently sharing a great good that had happened in his life. The leper’s choice to not listen to Christ impacted his ministry and ability to minister to the people of the region.
Lesson learned: just because something is good doesn’t mean that it is the good we are to choose. Sometimes, we need to voluntarily let go of the good before us to receive a greater good from God.