1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless.
9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.
15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her; I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”18 And Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live in thy sight!” 19 God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year.” 22 When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
1 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him;
2 and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”3 And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”
THE FIRST READING: Abrams obedience is rewarded with a visit from God when he turned ninety years old. God gives a new ordinance that require that he and all his offspring be circumsised. We note that Abram and Sarai have a name change to: Abraham and Sarah, which points to a new mission and covenantal promise.
The act of circumcision signified a state of spiritual perfection, and completeness. This event inaugurated the fruitfulness of Abraham and Sarah’s love to beget children as a fulfillment of God’s promise. To be uncircumcised was considered an act of revolt and contempt against God. Behavior that did not accord with God’s commands were often referred to as sign of an ‘uncircumcised heart!’
St MATTHEW purposely link our Lords descent from the mountain where He recluded Himself in prayer with His work of healing and deliverance. Despite the “great crowd” that followed Christ, a leper broke away from his forced seclusion that was mandated by the ‘health’ authorities who feared the spreading of the ailment, to seek healing and restoration from the Lord.
Our Lord does the unthinkable in context to the notoriety of the contagious disease by touching the leper and brings healing to him! Furthermore our Lord request that the man not speak to anyone, but to present himself to the temple priest who would issue a bill of good health upon examination of his condition.Lev 13:8,9
The priest was indeed the medical and spiritual authority who would make an examination of the afflicted person. Jesus thus gave recognition to the role of the temple priests and did not desire to usurp their office! To be sure, Jesus would later authorize His priestly Apostles to do the same in and through the Holy Sacraments that is ordered to perfect the people of God! You and I are called to not hide as being in a lockdown state, but to present ourselves to a priest at the earliest importunity to be blameless and receive healing!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 128:1-5
Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Lo, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. 5 The LORD bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days
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