Monday of the Third Week of Lent
Memorial Feast: Saint John of God (1495-+1550) Patron Saint of Hospitals, Nurses and the Dying
Second Book of Kings 5:1-15, Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3-4, & Luke 4:24-30
Exotic things, things that are out of the ordinary almost always have an appeal for us. The very fact that they are unfamiliar makes them more enticing which in turn peaks our interest even more. By contrast, the ordinary often passes by unnoticed; everyday or normal things generally fail to attract our attention.
I believe this truth of our human nature has a great impact when it comes to discovering God at work in our lives and in our world. We know that God can be present in some extraordinary events and circumstances; but what we often fail to acknowledge is that God usually chooses the ordinary as the place of His activities.
In our first reading from 2 Kings, Naaman, the Syrian army commander who is afflicted with leprosy, was appalled at the suggestion that in order to cure his leprosy, he ought to bathe in the Jordan River. Really, the Jordan? It is so ordinary; how about someplace more exotic? However, by humbly submitting to that originally absurd suggestion, he received the cure he desired.
Jesus, in the Gospel of Saint Luke, is fresh from His victory over the desert temptations, comes to His home town and is rejected by its citizens. God the Father is at work in Him. His “friends” from Nazareth cannot believe that this simple carpenter’s son could be the Son of God. God couldn’t possibly be that close, or could He?
I believe that one of the great difficulties that the very earliest Christians had was convincing their neighbors, accustomed to great religious spectacles, that baptism, just being washed with water, really did bring with it the promise of living forever. Unfortunately for many, it was just too much to believe. Isn’t there something more to it than that? Yet, there is—They forgot His name; Emmanuel, God with us.
Questions of the Day: What are the circumstances in which God will meet you today? What individual will God choose to work through you today?
Prayer: “Athirst is my soul for the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?"