Monday of the Third Week
In the first reading, Naaman is the general of the Syrian or Aramean army, second in command only to the King. He had everything going for him but “he was a leper.” In the Bible, a leper was considered unclean.
An innocent little slave shows compassion for Naaman and pleads to have him present himself to the prophet in Samaria to be cured. Expecting that the prophet would invoke God to cure him instead of asking him to wash seven times in the Jordan, Naaman becomes angry, but urged by his servants he follows Elisha’s order and becomes clean. He says to the prophet: “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.”
In Scripture, leprosy is associated with sin. We may be successful, respected and loved, but we are all sinners. God is calling all of us as he did the little girl slave to be instruments of His love. His love cannot be bought. We must come to Him in good faith. As Christians, we should be thankful to God for having received His spiritual healing through His Son, our Brother, Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus challenges and angers His people in the synagogue at Nazareth as He has done more than once. After saying: “Amen I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place,” He declares the prophets’ inability to solve problems in their own land. His words are still relevant today. Who has not used them referring to some of our leaders who sometimes are more respected abroad than in our own country?
Dear God, please guide the leaders of our Church and our country and make them worthy of our acceptance and admiration. Open our minds to their wisdom whether they are near or far away.
Fran Thompson, M‘10, Member of the Worshipping Community
First Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-15ab
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Gospel: Luke 4:24-30
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website