On Your Knees
11 January 2018
I used to go and confess my sins to an old Monsignor when I lived in the United States. He was a cranky sort of fella, but kind all the same. He used to call me “Australia,” while the Kenyan priest I studied with was referred to as “Africa.”
After I would finish confessing my sins, Monsignor would always say – in his mellifluous, New York accent – “Well, you’re on your knees, and that’s where you should be.” It was theatre!
The Gospel is from Mark (1:40-45), and it proclaims:
A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to ’ he said ‘you can cure me.’
Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course, I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’
And leprosy left him at once, and he was cured.
As a young boy, I used to witness my Father kneeling – on a regular basis. My Dad said a lot without using a word. Perhaps this is the reason I like to kneel as I confess my sins, no matter where I am – confessional or otherwise. I certainly begin each day by kneeling. I find meditation is more fruitful if I begin by kneeling for just a few moments.
This does not mean that you, or anybody else for that matter, have to follow suit. No. It’s just that I think kneeling is symbolic of our deep need for God.
It is a profound grace to know this need – this deep need. It is a profound grace, too, to be able to express this need before God and those you trust.
It turns out that our character in the Gospel is both “leper” and “prophet.”
Can you see yourself in him?