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FRIDAY OF THE 12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

24TH JUNE 2022


FILLING IN THE GAP


2 KINGS 25:1-12

PSALM 137:1-6

MATTHEW 8:1-4

After healing the leper who requested to be healed by him in today's Gospel reading, Jesus tells him, " See that you say nothing to anyone;but go,show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a proof to the people."

Other Bible translations instead of using the phrase ' see that ' use the word ' listen ' and all these phrases point to the strictness that Jesus wanted the healed man to adhere to however it has not been recorded whether the man strictly followed the instruction of Jesus or did not.

By not being told whether the healed man followed the instruction of Jesus or not, we are taken directly into what we call a gap which in this Gospel reading literally means a space or interval or a break in continuity .

Anytime we talk about a gap, we get the opportunity to think about continuity because continuity sustains normalcy and prevents disruptions and suspense and brings understanding.

Since we do not know whether the healed man went to offer the gift that Moses commanded for a proof of healing to the people, we are left wondering if people will understand and accept him when they see him healed.

Where there is a gap there is no conclusion and that is why when we read a book that appears to be full of suspense or hanging, we become too eager to read the last word of the last paragraph of the book and may even be tempted to make our own conclusion.

As much as continuity and conclusion are important in making people and situations be known, understood and finally accepted, we can only reach such a level if in the first place there is a gap to be filled.

The gap here as we earlier said is that we do not know whether the healed man did as Jesus instructed him or not and those days’ lepers were separated not only from the worship of God in the Temple but also from the daily lives of people including friends and family.

Can you see the spiritual, social and economic implications he was exposing himself to incase he did not follow the instructions of Jesus?

By going to the priest, the man would be declared officially and ceremonially clean and allowed to return to the community but we do not know whether he went to the priest or not and so we are the ones to fill the gap that has been left by doing what the man may not have done.

We can say that we too suffer from different forms of leprosy, that is, any situation that makes us be separated from God and can only be healed if we go before God with a contrite heart.

Since gaps are spaces and spaces become dangerous when not filled or when filled with the wrong things, the healing of the leper calls us to introspect our faith and other areas of our lives and see where there are gaps, suspense, spaces or unfinished business or hanging or incomplete situations and do the necessary, that is, fill them.

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