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Monday, March 12, 2007

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2 Kings 5:1-15
Psalm 42
Luke 4:24-30

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naaman's nudge

"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." —2 Kings 5:14

How differently Naaman's story would have ended if he had not listened to his servants! First a young Israelite servant recommends that he seek healing from the prophet Elisha. Naaman does so, but leaves the prophet in anger. He is insulted at the prospect of washing seven times in the Jordan (2 Kgs 5:11-12). Showing great diplomacy, his servants give him the gentle nudge he needs. Naaman is healed of his leprosy. The story ends happily, thanks in part to the servants.

We, as servants of the Lord today, seek to continue the mission of Naaman's servants. We are called to guide others to the channels of God's grace by which they can be healed. "Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the presbyters of the church. They in turn are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore him to health. If he has committed any sins, forgiveness will be his. Hence, declare your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may find healing" (Jas 5:14-16).

Naaman washed seven times. The church offers her seven Sacraments as fountains of healing and holiness for the whole world. But remember, Naaman might not have been healed without a little nudge from his servants.

Prayer:  Father, You make it so simple for me to be healed. May I frequent the Sacraments as You intend.

Promise:  "Wash and be clean." —2 Kgs 5:13

Praise:  William has learned to obey God, especially when he doesn't completely understand His plan.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006

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