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Monday, March 8, 2010

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St. John of God

2 Kings 5:1-15
Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3-4
Luke 4:24-30

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"Naaman went away angry." —2 Kings 5:11

A docile person is teachable and ready to learn willingly. Docility to the Lord's teaching received through the Scriptures and the Church is a hallmark of a child of God.

Naaman, the Syrian army commander and leper, probably considered himself docile. After all, he had traveled many miles to hear Elisha's words (2 Kgs 5:5). However, he lacked docility since he would only receive instruction in limited ways. He wanted instruction on healing, but wanted it directly from the prophet Elisha, and he wanted it in dramatic form. When Elisha sent the desired instruction, Naaman was not docile to it, since the instructions came from a mere messenger and contained a "dull" directive (see 2 Kgs 5:11ff).

The Jews in Nazareth probably considered themselves docile. After all, they gathered weekly in the synagogue to read about the coming Messiah. However, when Jesus came as their long-awaited Messiah, they weren't docile to His word and expelled Him (Lk 4:28ff). Jesus was just a local Carpenter. His prophecy was "too much" for them (Mk 6:3).

Most of us probably consider ourselves docile. After all, we're reading One Bread, One Body and the daily eucharistic Scriptures. Yet will we be docile to God when He uses celibate men, such as the Pope and the bishops, to deliver His message on artificial birth control or social justice? Have we been docile to God's teaching on submissive wives and sacrificially loving husbands? (Eph 5:22ff) Will we be docile if the Lord chooses to speak His message through our spouse, children, in-laws, or enemies? Beg the Lord to help you be docile by His standards.

Prayer:  "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening" (1 Sm 3:9).

Promise:  "Send forth Your light and Your fidelity; they shall lead me on." —Ps 43:3

Praise:  St. John listened to God and served the poor with compassion.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009

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