Man is a social being.
We all need others in our journey of life, including our spiritual life. Many songs, poems and stories have been written to highlight that fact.
There can be times in a person's life when they equate their spirituality solely on their individual relationship with God. They can take on the perspective that it is all about "God and me." One might call it a vertical concept of religion.
The gospel for today (Matthew 8:1-4), relates the miracle of Jesus cleansing the leper. It is of interest that after the healing, Jesus told the man to "show thyself to the priest and offer the gift which Moses commanded as a testimony." Jesus assumes that the priests will restore the man into the religious community.
Let this reading serve as a reminder to us that our spiritual lives have both a "vertical" and a "horizontal" perspective, namely that we need the community, and that both are intertwined.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Bendigo in Australia