March 24, 2014

March 24

March 24, 2014:  Monday, 3rd week of Lent

Readings
Wordle: Readings 3-24-14
  • 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab  Leper Naaman set out with gifts and Aram's king's letter to Israel's king to be cured.  Elisha heard; Naaman went to him who asked him to wash in the Jordan, then left angry, but Naaman's servants urged him to wash, and he became clean.  To Elisha:  “Now I know there's no God except in Israel.”
  • Ps 42:2-3; 43:3-4  "Athirst is my soul for the living God.  When shall I go and behold the face of God?" I long for you as the deer for water.  Your light and fidelity shall lead me to your dwelling place; I'll enter and thank you.
  • Lk 4:24-30  Jesus:  "No prophet is accepted in his own place:  Elijah was sent to a widow outside Israel, and Elisha cleansed Syrian Naaman, not Israel's lepers."  In fury they led him to a hill to hurl him down, but he escaped.
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  Lepers and widows were outcasts, but Naaman and the Zarephath widow welcomed the prophets and were saved, while the Nazarenes felt sure they kept the commandments and didn't need salvation; it's the tragedy of observance without faith.  If you don't put yourself on the margins or feel what it is to be an outcast, you won't be saved.  This is humility:  to feel so marginalized that we need the Salvation of the Lord.  God asked Naaman for humility, childlike obedience; Naaman, feeling Elisha's invitation to wash was humiliating, was angry but eventually humbled himself and was healed.  Choose humility.  Mary didn't say she's happy because God was looking to her virginity or kindness but rather her humility.  God looks for and finds us on the margins—in our sins, mistakes, and need—not the center of our certainties.  Humility isn't saying we're not important or hiding our pride but rather telling the truth:  ‘I'm a sinner.’
Reflections
    • Creighton:  To be healed, Naaman had to listen to those beneath him and humble himself.  Like the Nazarenes, we're captive to the familiar, seeking signs but missing what's before us.  If we sink lower and see like a child, we'll find God.
    • One Bread One Body:  The Lord heals through witnesses, encouragers, prophets, and people of faith, like:
      • Naaman's wife's slave, witnessing to God's healing power;
      • Naaman's servants, encouraging people to swallow their pride and follow God;
      • Elisha, speaking God's word over what others want to hear;
      • all who repent and follow God.
    • RC.net:  Naaman's healing prefigures the healing Jesus grants to all through the waters of baptism.  God gives grace and healing to the humble and repentant.
    • Passionist:  Jesus is as unwelcome to many now as to the Nazarenes then.  Christ is nearer to us than we to ourselves; welcome him with joy, be open to him, and desire his company.
    Music
    • As the deer longs/ Hurd (psalm) [Bern and Lori, note v3 ends with "Where, O where, are you?", not "Where the h*** are you?"]
    Apparel
    • Blue shirt:  Naaman washed in the Jordan (1st reading)
    • Silver and gold [-colored] accessories:  Naaman set out with silver and gold... (1st reading)
    • "Letter" tie bar:  ...the king's 'letter',... (1st reading)
    • "Horse" tie pin:  ...and his horses (1st reading)
    • Deer tie pin:  As the deer longs... (psalm)
    • "Kneeling person" tie bar:  gesture of humility (1st reading, gospel)
    • "Hearts" suspenders:  harden not your hearts (Sunday psalm)
    • Purple tie:  Lenten season

    Dress your life!

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