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A reading from the second Book of Kings 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram, was highly esteemed and respected by his master, for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram. But valiant as he was, the man was a leper. Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife. “If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,” she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went and told his lord just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said. “Go,” said the king of Aram. “I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments. To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” When he read the letter, the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed: “Am I a god with power over life and death, that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy? Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!” When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments, he sent word to the king: “Why have you torn your garments? Let him come to me and find out that there is a prophet in Israel.” Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. The prophet sent him the message: “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.” But Naaman went away angry, saying, “I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the LORD his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy. Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?” With this, he turned about in anger and left. But his servants came up and reasoned with him. “My father,” they said, “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.” So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.”


“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”

Some priests for penance will give you 5 Our Fathers or 5 Hail Marys or both. Some will give you a rosary and others will have you meditate on Psalm 51. I have not yet been told to wash 7 times in the Jordan but I suppose I would if that was my penance and I lived near the river.

The faith of the servant girl led Namaan, the Syrian, to Elisha. And through the intercession of the prophet, Namaan was healed. There were grins, embraces, thank yous and hugs, I am sure.

As what happened with Namaan, God wants to get closer to us. He tells us what to do and shows us how. Sometimes we protest because we don't want to do it, or we don't understand why and we still don't walk in complete abandonment to the Lord. When we do follow what God commands, we will be healed.

And what is it that God is telling us?

  • Hold fast to God and do penance.

  • Busy yourself with goodness.

  • Trust and wait.

  • Ask for blessings.

  • Be steadfast with hope and bear fruits.

  • Ask to be like Jesus.

  • Be humble and lose self importance.

  • Stop being self absorbed.

  • Drop the sense of privilege.

  • You are never entitled to anything or anyone.

Thus says the Lord:
Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
nor the strong man glory in his strength, 
nor the rich man glory in his riches. 

But rather, let him who glories, glory in this,
that in his prudence he knows me.
Knows that I, the Lord, bring about kindness,
justice and uprightness on the earth;
For with such am I pleased, says the Lord.
(Jeremiah 9:22-23).


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