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Friends, our Gospel today gives us one of the great scenes of Jesus healing a leper. And as is usually the case, it becomes an icon of the spiritual life in general.

Once in the Lord’s presence, the leper kneels down and begs him. The suffering man realizes who Jesus is: not one prophet among many but the incarnation of the God of Israel, the only one before whom worship is the appropriate attitude. 

In our sickness, our weakness, our shame, our sin, our oddness—lots of us feel like this leper. We feel as though we’re just not worthy. Whatever trouble we are in, we have to come to Jesus in the attitude of worship. He is the Lord and we’re not. This is the key step in getting our lives in order: right praise.

Consider the leper’s beautiful plea, essential in any act of petitionary prayer: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” He is not demanding; he is acknowledging the lordship of Jesus, his sovereignty. “Thy will be done” is always the right attitude in any prayer.