Tomorrow is the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the Gospel we hear about a man who is suffering from leprosy. He makes a simple statement of faith but he attaches no time frame for when he would like his healing to take place. What Jesus does in healing him instantly goes beyond the natural and is pure, miraculous gift. In the twenty-first century we might fail to see the incredible miracle of such immediate healing, because we demand the immediate in all aspects of our lives. This desire for an immediate response is a kind of virus that can overtake our spiritual life as we demand that God act in a certain way.
This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:
I have been praying with these few verses from Mark for a few days and have experienced some dryness. Today as I sat down to pray I reminded God of my overdue deadline and that I needed him to speak to me now. Then he helped me understand that he has been speaking to me all along, but I wasn’t able to hear him because it wasn’t the answer I expected.
Our world and our society are all about “instant” or “immediate.” We grumble if the checkout line doesn’t move fast enough, or if our Internet connection takes more than a couple of seconds to get us online. In fact, people often say, “I want it done yesterday.” All this immediate or instant gratification of our needs and desires has allowed us to lose sight of the time some things take to naturally reach a desired effect. No matter how much fertilizer we pile on a newly planted seed, the flower will not appear in the next twenty seconds if it grows normally.
What is immediate is God’s outpouring of his grace and love. These gifts are abundant and constant, and they make everything else in life a bit more bearable.