Friday after Epiphany, Jan 8

 1 John 5: 5-13; Luke 5: 12-16

Jesus went to deserted places; There he prayed. 

Among his many scientific achievements, George Washington Carver produced useful products from the lowly peanut. Among these were shampoo and printer's ink. Author James Childers once asked Carver how he found time to do so much research.

Carver replied that he made it a point to rise at four o'clock each morning. He said: "While most other people are sleeping, I go out into the woods. There, in the early morning stillness, I listen to God and to his plan for me." Carver was merely imitating Jesus, who also used to get up early, go off to lonely places, and there commune with his heavenly Father.


How much time do we spend in solitude and in prayer each day? "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg


What John says in his letter about faith in Jesus is exemplified in the gospel. Faith consists in believing in Jesus Christ, “who came by water and blood”; when he was baptized in the waters of the Jordan, he was proclaimed Son of God; by shedding his blood on the cross, he accomplished his mission. This Jesus has eternal life. By believing in him, we encounter him as a person and share in his life. The leper believes in him: “You can cure me,” he says. Jesus restores the man’s health and thus manifests once more that God’s power and life is in him. 


Miracles always give us something to wonder about. Be it miracles of nature, or miracles of healing, or just a wonderful unexpected surprise, these extraordinary events give us a sense of mystery. During the course of the gospel readings of this week, we hear of a few miracles - the multiplication of loaves and the walking on water. 

Today we hear of yet another miracle, and that is the healing of a leper. This is another reiteration of the Epiphany of God in Jesus - that in Jesus, we see the divinity of God and that He is our Helper, our Provider, our Teacher, our Master, and not least, our Healer and our Comforter. Yet the Epiphany of God is not just about the divinity of Jesus. It is also about His humanity, as He would always go off to some place where He could be alone and pray. As we face the struggles and difficulties, the pains and the hurts of life, let us also follow Jesus and go off to some quiet place to be alone with God in prayer. Jesus is our Healer and our Comforter. A quiet time of prayer before Jesus would bring about healing for our hearts and our souls and let us experience the saving love of God 

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30: 15)


Opening Prayer: Lord God of life, we believe with all that is in us that Jesus is your Son and our Savior. He can heal us from the leprosy of sin and give us a share in the fullness of his life. Deepen our faith in him and let it change our lives. Let us encounter your Son from person to person, that he may live in us and that we may bear witness that he is our Lord and Savior, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.