WHEN we find ourselves in some trouble, let’s be quick to cut the drama and with faith-filled dispatch, let’s just go to Christ asking for his help which he will always give, though in ways that may not be in accordance to our expectations.
This is the lesson we can learn from the readings of the Mass of the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The first reading from the Book of Leviticus (13,1-2.44-46) tells us that we are like lepers when we fall into sin. We should be isolated.
But the responsorial psalm already offers us how we should respond to this predicament. “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you will fill me with the joy of salvation.” These words should be indelibly etched in our mind and heart and made to shape our reaction whenever we find ourselves in trouble.
The second reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (10,31-11,1) reinforces the same truth of our faith that whatever we do or whatever happens to us, we should refer ourselves to God, and that like God we should be helpful to everyone, regardless of how one is to us.
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God,” St. Paul said. “Be without offence to the Jews, and to the Gentiles, and the church of God.” With these words, we are made to understand that when we do everything for the glory of God, we can manage to channel in ourselves the universal love God has for everyone, both friend and foe.
The gospel (Mk 1,40-45) clearly tells us that God always has compassion to all sinners as personified by the leper in that episode.
From all these, what we can gather is that we should develop the instinct to immediately go to Christ whenever we find ourselves in any type of trouble, physical, economic, etc., and especially moral or spiritual. Let’s never hesitate to go to God due to fear or shame.
We have to remember that as dramatized in the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son, (cfr. Lk 15) the common conclusion and the lesson to learn is that there would be greater joy in heaven over one sinner who returns to God than over many others who have no need for repentance.
And as reiterated in the gospel of St. John, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (3,17) We should never have any doubt about the mercy of God, even if we may appear to be already abusing the goodness of God. Obviously, we have to make an effort to correspond as fairly as possible to God’s gratuitous offer of mercy to us.
Our main concern should be that whenever we are in trouble, let’s go to God as quickly as possible, asking for mercy and then for grace so we can start healing what is sick in us, or strengthening what is weak in us.
And just as God is merciful to everyone, we should also be merciful and compassionate with everyone, irrespective of how they are to us. We should remember these words of Christ: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.” (Lk 6,36-38)