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Faith Never Fails

March 13, Monday, Third Week of Lent
2Kg 5: 1-15; Lk. 4: 24 – 30

Leprosy in Body
Leprosy is a disease that was incurable. That is why Moses had given a rule that the leprosy-affected persons should be kept out of the camp (Lev 13: 46). However, there are also instances in the Bible that such an incurable disease was cured because of divine intervention. One such instance is narrated in the first reading – Naaman, being cured of his leprosy. We also see Jesus curing the leprosy patients (Mk 1: 40-45, Lk 17: 11-19).

Here it needs to be noted that the Bible presents faith as the only requirement to get healed of leprosy. May be Naaman might have thought that he could buy God’s grace by human means. That could be the reason why he carried with himself ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold. But when Elisha asked him of a simple act of bathing in River Jordan seven times, he could not accept it or see any rationale behind it. After all he was a gentile who might not have understood the value of faith.

Unfortunately, the Jews of Jesus’ time also suffered from the same mindset. While the Bible maintains that God’s grace is purely gratuitous and unmeritorious, the Jews, especially the Pharisees, thought that they can buy God’s grace by an austere and strict observance of the law. However, Paul maintains that God’s grace is purely gratuitous and all that we need is a simple, child-like faith (Rom 3: 28). It was only when Naaman believed in the words of Elisha, his leprosy got cured. 

Leprosy of Mind
Leprosy is a disease that keeps one’s own body uncomfortable and keeps others at distance. Narrow-mindedness and prejudice together form an attitude that keeps our own selves uncomfortable and keeps others at distance. So, it can be called the leprosy of the mind. It was this leprosy of mind (i.e., narrow-mindedness-cum-prejudice) that the contemporaries of Jesus suffered from. When Jesus explained to them a historical fact –a fact that was recorded in their own Scripture - that Elisha cured only Naaman, not any leper from Israel, the Jews were not ready to investigate the reason why such an enigma had taken place. They were not ready to accept the fact that they and their forefathers lacked faith which prevented them from being cured by God. Instead, they once again reinforced their narrow-mindedness towards the gentile and got angry with Jesus for citing a passage from their own Scripture. 

Leprosy in body can be cured by submission to God in faith, whereas leprosy of mind is something which is very subtle and demands a lot of self-introspection to become aware of, and lot of humility to accept and a total surrender to God to overcome it. 


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.