A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 4:24-30
Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
REFLECTION: yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian
Everyone likes a good story. Insert your name--"yet not one of them was cleansed, but only (put your name)". Such happened to St John of God, founder of the Brothers Hospitallers, AD 1550.
St John of God served as a soldier in the wars between the French and the Spaniards and afterwards in Hungary against the Turks. What he did in the wars is unknown but he was filled with remorse. He steadied his life and began working as a book seller. One day he listened to St John of Avila preach. The church was filled with his cries, beating his breasts, tearing his hair and imploring mercy. His behavior was bizarre and he was hospitalized in a lunatic asylum. Upon hearing of this, St John of Avila advised him to stop this personal method of penance. He was advised to occupy himself for the future in something more conducive for his own personal spiritual growth and that of his neighbor.
St John of God set out to relieve the poor. He sold wood for feeding the destitute and rented a house for the sick poor. He served and catered with zeal, wisdom and economy. This was the foundation of the order of Brothers of St John of God. He visited for long hours the Blessed Sacrament. He was loath to give blessings, saying that his sins made him a scandal and reproach.
St John passed away, on his knees before the altar.
Today give away some of your belongings.