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Father Dennis’ Reflection

God’s Living Word Today - Monday, March 8, 2021

[2 Kgs 5:1-15a and Luke 4:24-30]

"Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." [Luke]

     Jesus spoke these words in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth.  They could not believe that a hometown boy could possibly be the Messiah, the fulfillment of the prophets foretellings.  He points to the stories of Elijah and Elisha to make his point against the lack of faith he was experiencing from his own people!  Honorable mention is given to Naaman the Syrian, whom Elisha had cleansed of leprosy.  Naaman's story is the subject of the first scripture for today.

     Naaman was a military hero but he suffered from a skin ailment that his own people considered leprosy.  He is disappointed when the King of Israel sends him to a hut where an old prophet tells him to bathe in a dirty little river called the Jordan.  His disappointment was based on his expectations that a big shot like him would be told to do something dramatic.  When a Jewish slave girl advises him that his expectations were getting in the way of his healing, he wisely accepts her advice and does what the prophet ordered.  The results were dramatic - baby skin!

     The expectations of the folks in Nazareth led them to reject Jesus.  Naaman, at least, changed his mind and listened to the man of God.  Perhaps this is a reminder to us to ask ourselves in Lent what our expectations of God are?  Maybe God doesn't expect dramatic things from us.  Do we expect dramatic things of God?  Are our expectations sounding so loud in our ears and hearts that we cannot hear the simple advice that could lead to dramatic results?  

Father Dennis




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