instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thelo, there!

I think there's something beautiful in the simple structure of the exchange between the leper and Jesus quoted in yesterday's Gospel reading:
"If you wish [thele^s], you can make me clean [katharisai]."

"I do will it [Thelo^]. Be made clean [Katharisthe^ti]."
This poses a clear challenge for us. Is our faith as strong as the leper's?

Or maybe the challenge isn't so clear. Plenty of demons knew that if Jesus wished, He could send them back to hell, and we wouldn't rest easy with a faith no stronger than a demon's.

St. Thomas identified two principal acts of faith: the internal act of believing and the outward act of confessing. Even the demons believe, but they don't like to admit it. Not even a direct command from the Son of God could stop that leper from confessing to everyone -- pretty convincingly, too, to judge by its effects.