Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
Words from today’s gospel, according to Luke.
There are several references to stretched-out hands in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Moses stretched out his hand multiple times in order to deliver the Israelites from Egypt.
Joshua stretched out his hand to claim Jericho.
In each instance, an outstretched arm is an indication of God’s mighty power. And usually, that power resulted in someone’s death.
Today, we witness Jesus stretching out his hand to reveal God’s mighty power in a new way. A power that restores and brings life.
This outstretched hand bridges the gap between the Holy and the unclean. It allows an outcast to reconnect with his life-giving community.
By virtue of our baptism, God gives us that power. It’s a real thing, too. Don’t underestimate it.
In the same way he used Moses and Joshua’s outstretched hands to work miracles, he calls us to stretch out our hands to restore and to heal.
There are more people with a spiritual leprosy among us than we can count. And it’s just as powerful a miracle when they’re restored.
God cannot reach out to them except through our hands.
Who is it that needs your outstretched hand today?