“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God” (Mk. 10:27). Really! Are you sure?! Do I really believe that? This is not the only time we hear of something being impossible for God. Jesus cannot pray because of the crowds seeking Him out (Mk. 1:35-37). He cannot heal for their lack of Faith (Mk. 6:5-6). He can’t eat due to the throng gathered around Him (Mk. 3:20). Could these be the same crowds who, looking at Him as He hung dying on the cross, would remark, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself” (Mk. 15:31)?
A leper comes from outside the city, where by law he must live, to ask Jesus for a cure but then, after touching him, it is Jesus who must remain outside in deserted places (see first reading). Jesus could have cured the leper without touching him but freely chose to touch him and have to remain outside the city.
All of this should cause us to contemplate the free will of God: “For God so loved the world… (Jn. 3:16) and “He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death” (Philippians 2:8). It is that Free Will, which is so sacrosanct to God, that makes things impossible for Him, at times. It is the same free will He instilled in us by virtue of being created in His image and likeness. That realization may be what causes Paul to say, “If we are unfaithful He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim 2:13). To deny us our free will would be for God to deny Himself and the Free Will that created us, redeemed us and will receive us into His Kingdom, provided we don’t “deny Him” (2 Tim 2:12).
As we approach Ash Wednesday and the 40 days of Lent leading up to the high point of the Church year, it would be good to consider how I can freely deny my own selfishness and self-centeredness in order to not deny God and, thus, make my own salvation impossible for Him.