2 Kings 5:1-15ab
The first and second preface from the Sacramentary call Lent a "joyful season" and a "great season of grace." Today’s readings tell us it is a season of healing also. Most, like Naaman believe that God would "move his hand over the spot and thus cure." We want God to do something easy, quick and supernatural. Not so fast…
Tomorrow I’ll be having arthroscopic knee surgery. I have damaged the cartilage through sports activities and it needs to be repaired. There will be the blunt pain of surgery, the difficulty of rehab and then eventual healing. Sometimes married couples will come to me and ask for prayer. They want help in their marriage relationship. There are no quick fixes. Often counseling and confrontation is needed. The couple needs to honestly talk things out. The process can be difficult but life-giving. Many who are addicted seek God for healing. It would be wonderful if the desire for the substance were suddenly taken away. In reality people need to be plunged over and over into the Jordan of their deeper issues. Confronting issues is painful, requires courage, but can lead to recovery.
The serious disciple journeys through Lent desiring growth and change in a myriad of areas. Change doesn’t always happen immediately and completely, but comes incrementally and eventually if we are determined and courageous. Often the change we seek demands the obedience Namaan was called to today. As we yield our ways to those of God we find that healing often requires pain of some sort. Jesus faced this rejection and foreshadowing of death in the Gospel. The grace-filled season of Lent teaches us that sufferings of the present will eventually lead to new life.
Fr. Cedric Pisegna, C.P. is a missionary preacher, author of 13 books and creator of the TV program Live with Passion! airing in many cities. You can learn more about his ministry at: http://www.frcedric.org/