Sunday, March 03, 2013



MARCH 4, 2013

2 Kgs 5:1-15 / Ps 42: 2. 3; 43: 3. 4 / Lk 4:24-30

2 KINGS 5:1-15
Naaman was the army commander of the king of Aram. This man was highly regarded and enjoyed the king's favor, for Yahweh had helped him lead the army of the Arameans to victory. But this valiant man was sick with leprosy. One day some Aramean soldiers raided the land of Israel and took a young girl captive who became a servant to the wife of Naaman. She said to her mistress, "If my master would only present himself to the prophet in Samaria, he would surely cure him of his leprosy." Naaman went to tell the king what the young Israelite maidservant had said. The king of Aram said to him, "Go to the prophet, and I shall also send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman went and took with him ten gold bars, six thousand pieces of silver and ten festal garments. On his arrival, he delivered the letter to the king of Israel. It said, "I present my servant Naaman to you that you may heal him of his leprosy." When the king had read the letter, he tore his clothes to show his indignation, "I am not God to give life or death. And the king of Aram sends me this man to be healed! You see he is just looking for an excuse for war." Elisha, the man of God, came to know that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, so he sent this message to him: "Why have you torn your clothes? Let the man come to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel." So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stopped before the house of Elisha. Elisha then sent a messenger to tell him, "Go to the river Jordan and wash seven times, and your flesh shall be as it was before, and you shall be cleansed." Naaman was angry, so he went away. He thought: "On my arrival, he should have personally come out, and then paused and called on the name of Yahweh, his God. And he should have touched with his hand the infected part, and I would have been healed. Are the rivers of Damascus, Abana and Pharpar not better than all the rivers of the land of Israel? Could I not wash there to be healed?" His servants approached him and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had ordered you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? But how much easier when he said: Take a bath and you will be cleansed." So Naaman went down to the Jordan where he washed himself seven times as Elisha had ordered. His skin became soft like that of a child and he was cleansed. Then Naaman returned to the man of God with all his men. He entered and said to him, "Now I know that there is no other God anywhere in the world but in Israel. I ask you to accept these gifts from your servant."

LUKE 4:24-30
Jesus added, "No prophet is honored in his own country. Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet, and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian." On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw him down the cliff. But he passed through their midst and went his way.

This passage never wasted any time in telling us what we needed to realize. The first verse in itself already struck a chord: "And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country."

It may not be entirely true, nor can we test the validity of such a hypothesis as so-called prophets may already be extinct in this day and age. But if we are to scale it down, applying it to our own personal relationships, we oftentimes neglect to listen to people who are close to us whenever they tell us about our shortcomings, or even our triumphs.

Perhaps it's our familiarity with them, and theirs with us. We our subconsciously bound by unwritten social contracts that require one to compliment the other for no expected reward, and we are also bound to understand the other when he or she says, "I don't need help" or "I can deal with it".

However, once external entities, persons who view us from an agnostic perspective, start to shower us with compliments or hit us with criticism, we tend to give a little more weight to their opinion. It is because we know that they have no reason or obligation to make us feel better or worse about ourselves.

This is probably how the countrymen of Elijah would've felt if he started to tell them about God. They saw, or at least assumed, that they were in the same situation, living the same daily lives. While they may not entirely reject what Elijah was telling them, they would be wary of how Elijah was suddenly talking about a very abstract concept of the workings of a Higher Being despite them assumingly learning spiritual lessons at the same rate.

But once Elijah started preaching to men neither of his nation nor kin, men who are not familiar with the way he lived, they were suddenly struck with curiosity. They probably asked, "Who is this man from another land?" "What is this God that he speaks of?" "Does he know something that we don't?" It is probably this intrigue that gave these men more reason to mull over what he preached.

Learning lessons from other people, when our own friends have already imparted it upon us is counterproductive – it is an almost unnecessary extra step that we have to take for our personal growth. We should just stop wasting time and start listening to those who are familiar to us, and those familiar with us. The same way that the Gospel wasted no time in letting us know what we needed to know.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Chief Samrose Anyaugo
… for the personal intentions of Dr Ugo Anyaugo, Oge Anyaugo, Barr (Mrs) adaugo Barbara Okoronkwo, Engr. Ifeanyi Matt Anyaugo, Chuba Anyaugo and Ezinne Cordelia Anyaugo
… In Thanksgiving: Nelson Billanes
… Birthday: Dolores Go
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Eliseo Fabella, Sr. Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Carl Angelo P. Revilla
- Birthday: Deandra Go-Tan
- Birthday: Arturo M. Marin
- Birthday: Gan, Arrabel Acero
- In Memoriam (+): Benito S. Cua (Nov 5, 1935 - Mar 4, 2003)
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!


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