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- Sermon 9 -
Third Sunday After Epiphany. The Healing of a Leper
St. Matthew VIII, 1-4: "When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them." (January 11, 1872)
This chapter of My disciple Matthew deals with several healings and miracles during My first years of teaching. These acts were necessary to give the orthodox Jews a different idea of their mosaic laws and their Jehovah-Zebaoth. I had to perform acts for them, as words alone would have been insufficient.
Here it is mentioned how I healed a leper by just touching him. This kind of healing is now no longer possible or not in accordance with My will; for if you would take "leprosy" in the spiritual sense, I would have to make angels out of many people suddenly, and not the best ones either, and this would not be of benefit, neither for Me and My spiritual realm nor for the suddenly transformed spirit or soul.
Actually, what kind of a disease is leprosy? What is its cause, and how can it be cured? Before we can clearly understand the spiritual correspondence, we must first answer these questions. Leprosy is caused when - be it through debauchery, through unnatural eating and drinking or through uncleanliness - a person has absorbed into his organism so many foreign and poisonous substances that the entire human clock movement cannot go on working. In order to restore the normal and natural action and administration in all parts of the body, human nature projects all the foreign substances and poisons, which have been taken in for years, onto its largest and very important organ, the skin, which provides the most extended contact with the external world, thereby not only ridding itself of its foreign and troublesome burden but also, with the help of this poisonous irritant, stimulate the skin to support the whole organism with increased activity, thus helping to restore its former health.
Naturally, this disease can best be healed in the same way as it arose, that is, it came from the inside to the outside, and the healing must be effected in this way, too. The spoilt blood, which has deposited its bad substances in the skin, must be replaced with new and healthy blood. Of course, externally the wounds must als be kept clean, so that all can be removed that is decayed and no longer of any use to the body and the way cleared for the poisons, which may still have to be eliminated.
Thus healing can take place when, by observing a natural way of living, the body can renew itself and ensure full strength for its organism and a long, healthy life for the respective person.
Here you have a short outline of the nature of leprosy as a physical disease. Now let us look at it in its spiritual correspondence to enable you there, too, to recognize the characteristics of the disease and its remedies. Here the miracle worker, however, who can heal this disease through mere touch or a word, cannot be counted on, for every leper in the spiritual sense must heal himself. Behold, the greater part of mankind, is 'leprous', i.e., full of poisonous boils. But because the majority of people are leprous, this is not considered offensive. The few who have been cleansed do not withdraw from those who suffer from this disease but tend them with the love and patience of Christian faith in order to help the sick, if they themselves are too weak to regain their lost moral health, by advising and supporting them.
Leprosy is a disease which no one can hide; it openly reveals itself on the human body. In the spiritual sense this means that all the bad points, all the evil passions and habits, which are the result of bad notions and neglected upbringing, are displayed openly. If, spiritually, a soul is so depraved in its innermost being that it has almost lost its spiritual value altogether, then the spirit, the divine spark placed in it by Me, drives it to a point where it is no longer ashamed to reveal its soiled inside to the outer world for everyone to see. Through this process the soul is, as it were, forced to reveal its conscience to the people around it and because of its way of living and thinking, brought about by absorbing false principles, it will give offence to the world, provoke bitter experiences and finally realize that only better and higher moral aspirations and actions will lead to true peace.
To speed up the healing of these spiritual lepers, I allow events to take place in the world thanks to which the process of elimination takes less time and more powerful and spiritual elements can penetrate the inner life of the soul for the purpose of healing. Just as the physical healing must come from within, also the restoration of spiritual health must set out from within. When what is bad has become public, has in the association with others been broken up and absorbed by the outer world, the vacuum inside is again filled up by moral-spiritual remedies, and thus such a person is brought back to his normal state, as image of his Creator, and has been reclaimed for the realm of spirits. As physical leprosy is contagious for those who come into contact with it, so is spiritual leprosy, because through its evil principles it leads also others to wrong actions. And thus, by one catching the disease from the other, this world became as immoral as you see it now. What I did then, that I healed a leper by touching him because his spiritual inside did not correspond to his skin, is now not possible in the spiritual sense. My touching often consists in bringing about conditions where a person will be relieved more quickly and forcibly of the impurities attached to him; but to make him suddenly spiritually clean would amount to interference with the dignity of human freedom. If I were to turn devils suddenly into angels, and this transformation took place without their own effort and self-abnegation, where would be their merit?
This kind of miraculous healing will therefore not be performed now, nor in the future. But that still happens frequently, what happened to the centurion of Capernaum, who with a strong faith and conviction relied on the power of My word and by his words: "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof... say a word and my servant shall be healed", showed what a proper Christian should be like who, notwithstanding adverse circumstances, has faith in Me and My guidance, believes My words and - publicly testifying to My greatness - remains aware of his own unworthiness. Souls who speak to Me like that, who come to Me with their supplication humbling themselves - those I touch with My finger and heal with My Word, pouring comfort and peace into their heart, which cannot be obtained in any other way. To these souls also applies what I said in Capernaum, that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those with such humble faith but not to those who take pride in their leprosy. These must first allow themselves to be purified and cleansed, otherwise they will have to recognize the darkness of their heart through sad experiences and realize that it would have been better to rid themselves of their bad attributes (their spiritual leprosy) which they not only did not hide but even showed off, and that this was not the way to the spiritual, to eternal life, to Me.
As long as they will not comprehend that meekness and love, combined with unlimited faith, are the keys to attain everything with Me and to make the best progress, sickness and all sorts of troubles will be affecting them until their leprosy has vanished and is replaced by elements of life, faith and love.
You, too, have still many a leprous boil on the skin of your souls, which often clearly shows that you are not cleansed by far as yet and have not by far realized right into your external life all the spiritual nourishment I have been sending you for years. There is a lot that you read and sometimes also believe but it has not yet shown its effect on the outside of your life-skin proving that this food of grace and love has penetrated that far. Only a few of you recognize your unworthiness, as did the centurion of Capernaum, to make you exclaim: "Lord, I am unworthy of so many graces! Just a word of comfort is sufficient but even this is too much for me, poor weak and fickle child!"
Most of you believe, as did the Jews of that time, to have done everything if you only cling literally to My commandments and teachings. But you are still far from actually practising the words of your Father. As the Jews observed only what materially appeared to them most important, so it is with you. You have a ready enthusiasm for My Word and are always prepared to convert others. You are always prepared to remove the rubbish from other people's doors and wait, like the leper of the Gospel, that I may come past and promptly, through My touch, make highly moral beings of you. (The Lord’s Sermons, chap. 9)
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