“A man with leprosy came to him begging him, and kneeling, he said to him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately the skin disease left him, and he was made clean.” (Mark 1:40-42).
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, and eyes. However, when speaking about leprosy in the Bible, the word “cleansing” is always used, not “healing.” In this part of the Gospel, the leper does not say: “If you wish, you can heal me,” but instead, he says: “Clean me.” When Jesus sent his apostles to preach the Gospel, he said to them: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers.” (Matthew 10:8). Why?
Because leprosy is likened to sin. The strange thing about leprosy is that outwardly it seems that the patient is in terrible pain, but in reality, lepers feel almost no pain because the disease kills the nerves that communicate pain. Sin, like leprosy, kills the cells of our conscience and dims our sense of right and wrong. Conscience is the receiver of spiritual pain impulses. However, when over time, sin numbs and numbs our conscience, we don't feel the pain of the open wounds in our souls. The more we ignore sin, the less we feel its damage and pain.
It's strange, but sometimes pain is important and even useful, because if we do not feel pain, we will continue to harm ourselves unconsciously. Those who say, "I follow my conscience," can, unfortunately, be very easily mistaken because the weaker our conscience becomes, the more unreliable it becomes. The conscience becomes dull and does not feel the damage caused by sin to our very being.
Therefore, let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse our conscience and spiritual senses from the corruption of sin.
Now, O caregiving, mighty, heavenly, kind,
creator of all out of nothing,
send the thunderbolt of wisdom in powerful words,
upon the movements of my tongue
that it might cleanse the senses
with which you endowed me,
so that with the faculties you created and
fixed a second time,
I might offer thanks to you
with unfailing voice and unbroken speech.
For the glory of the majesty of your Father,
our God, forever.
Amen. (Narek, Chapter 22e).