12, మార్చి 2023, ఆదివారం

 

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

2 Kings 5:1-15

Luke 4:24-30

Small yet Significant

(Pride & Prejudices to Submission)

 

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, at the preaching of Jesus in Synagogue many people were amazed at his teaching with authority but were not moved to faith. Looking at their impassive response Jesus says “No prophet is ever accepted in his own country”. He then goes on to give examples of two famous prophets, Elijah and Elisha. When the people disobeyed their message and later when there was a difficult situation in the nation the prophets were sent to bless non believers rather than Isralites. By this example Jesus added fuel to the fire, they were already angry and by this they felt insulted. So they wanted to kill him, throw him out of their town.

The people of Nazareth thought they knew everything, they were not ready to accept the Truth. They thought of Jesus as just Carpenter’s Son, so they could not conceive the words of Jesus for in their sight Jesus was an insignificant person (but not in reality). God speaks in various ways through various people, and can lead sometimes even through insignificant  people.

In the first reading, We have the two best examples of such people, small in their status but significant in character.

The context was Naman, valiant and victorious, the army commander from the king of Syria was a leper or suffering from some kind of skin disease. There are two characters who would play an important role in his healing.

1.    The Young Israelite girl: she was taken as captive when they invaded Israel and she became a maid to Naman’s wife. Though she was among strangers she did not leave her faith and always remembered that her God is faithful. Having learned of her master’s sickness she cared for him and  was compassionate. She was also a trusted servant.

She had faith in God, in the prophet of God, and in his ability to cure the ailment. This gave a new hope to Naaman and thus decided to go to Elisha with the permission of the King.

The Prophet Elisha : 

Naaman came to the prophet with a lot of wealth and gifts, thinking that he could buy good health with wealth. But not possible

When the prophet told him to wash seven times in River Jordan, he felt insulted and full of anger. He thought the prophet would magically wave his hand and cure him. Not the way he expected. His pride and prejudice concealed his reasoning and thus decided in haste to return home.

This is where the second character comes in to lead to healing.

2.    The Soldiers / Servants of Namaan: the solderies/ Servant reason with their Master, Naaman. They pleaded with him to listen to the prophet, it was a simple act of washing seven times. They were caring for their Master and trusting in the Prophet, so they made him rethink his decision. Thus when he buries his pride and does what he is told, he comes out healed physically and spiritually. Thus when he submits to the word he is healed.

 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus, there are times we miss the voice  and guidance of God through our pride and prejudices.

We can not buy health with wealth but only through submission to God’s word

People of Nazareth lacked the attitude of submitting and considering everyone is important thus missed out the blessings. Naaman was also in a similar situation but through servant girl and servants, though small, insignificant as per status but were significant for healing and blessing.

Let us during this lent, remove the obstacle of pride and prejudice and respect all. God speaks and works in various ways, small yet significant.

 

“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant.” (2 Kings 5:15)

God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

 FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

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