12 January, Thursday — Faith

Thursday of Week 1 in Ordinary Time

Heb 3:7-14
Mk 1:40-45

A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: “If you want to,” he said, “you can cure me.”

I have been writing for Oxygen for probably ten years or more now. Sometimes, reflections don’t come easily; you’ve really got to dig deep into your life and examine whether it is something that could be shared, or worth sharing. Most times, I seek God’s guidance to give me the inspiration from a verse and to be able to connect it with my life. Even then, I do ask myself, “Who am I to be writing this? What authority do I have? I am not a theologian.” But I write anyway because it is what I committed to God to do. It is my ‘personal ministry’, the one way in which I can contribute something and when it gets sent out, I pray to God that it may touch someone, even if it was just one person in a far corner of our big and beautiful earth, that would be enough for me.

My faith gets tested during these times when I suffer from ‘imposter syndrome’. And then I read a moving verse like Mark 1:40 about the leper. In one simple verse, this man has taught me so much about my faith (and also lack thereof): “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Submission and obedience to God’s will, humility on bended knee, petition, prayer, faith, and trust.

What if Jesus rejected the leper? What if he chose not to heal him? Or even worse, rebuked him? How did this man know that Jesus could, and would, heal him? So many doubts, enough to extinguish whatever flicker of faith that existed in a person. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” There is no certainty, just a belief, a strongly-held belief that “whatever [we] ask for in prayer, [we] will receive it, if [we] have faith” (Matthew 21:22). Today’s reading of Mark 1:40 tells me what I need to adopt when I come before Jesus with my petitions. The sooner I accept that, the sooner I can dispel the doubts and quieten my fears. The more I come to Jesus with faith, the more I will be able to claim his promises for me.

To close, I noted that my first reflections for this year each held a theme — empathy, prayer and faith. I’m not sure if this means anything to you, but for me, I take this as a message of what I need for this new year. We can all do with a little more empathy, a little more prayer, and a whole lot more faith; I think. I hope this message, God’s message, may strike a chord with you. 

(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)

Prayer: Lord, if it is your will, please help us go gently into the year. May it be one of peace and healing.

Thanksgiving: Lord, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for your mercies and blessings. As you had shown with the leper, thank you for your compassion for us all.


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