Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday of the Third Week
Many of us recall Art Linkletter’s 1970’s era television show.  It featured a segment known as “Kids Say the Darndest Things” when Art would interview young children about matters of daily life—some of his kid’s quips are legendary.  In today’s first reading, we have the rare instance of a child’s voice quoted in Scripture.  A little girl was captured in Israel by a Syrian military leader and was made to serve as his wife’s maid.  General Naaman became afflicted with leprosy and no one in his country could cure him.  The little captive maid’s legendary plea was for him to travel and be cured by “the prophet in Samaria.”  And doing so, there Elisha caused the leprosy to leave him; and Naaman awakened to faith in the God of Israel.  Our Psalm’s refrain repeats the searching theme, “Athirst is my soul for the living God…” 

Coming from another perspective, Luke’s Gospel recalls Jesus early in His ministry when He compared Himself to the prophets who were more appreciated by foreigners than at home—of Elisha’s curing the little maid’s Syrian master and how Elijah was sent out of his native Israel to serve in the land of Sidon.  These comparisons by the pompous sounding young man caused quite a stir among His neighbors in the Nazarene synagogue—such that they were ready to throw Him out of His own home town.  How might Jesus have felt about being rejected—even threatened—by people he had known since childhood?  Was He taken off guard? Frightened? Disappointed? Or, perhaps vindicated and empowered to continue His journey?   How often are our own words and ideas criticized and challenged by our peers?  How often are we suddenly “on the outs” with those whom we once belonged?  Do we then pout; or do we rethink our words seeking to compromise and reconcile; or do we take a deep breath, stick to our guns and move on?

Dear Lord, help us to think twice when our thoughts and words are challenged by those close to us. Help us to listen to and learn from others; and to discern whether to embrace their views or to sharpen our thinking and gracefully hold our ground.  Amen.

 Churchill Hindes, ‘69, 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

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