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A LESSON IN HUMILITY (2 Kings 5:1-15AB: Monday of the 3rd week of Lent)
By Augustine Agwulonu
Mon, 29 Feb 2016

A LESSON IN HUMILITY (2 Kings 5:1-15AB: Monday of the 3rd week of Lent)

only the humble can recognize God and experience his marvelous deeds and acts of loving mercy. This was exemplified in the life of Naaman, the Syrian soldier. Now, Naaman attempted to turn his need for healing into a negotiation. It was as though he wanted something like a swap! Naaman expected to experience the healing by the God of Israel in a trade by batter form, or according to the principle of cash and carry!

Given his inability to hearken to the word of the Prophet, Elisha, promptly, Naaman was tutored on the need for humility by his servant. He was taught that his case was beyond comparing the rivers of Syria with those in Israel. It was not about the incomparable beauty and quality of the respective rivers in both countries. But rather, it was about the healing power of Yahweh, the God of Israel. It was about the miraculous power of God, which was active and at work in the river Jordan. It was about God speaking through his Prophet, Elisha. Naaman should either obey the word of the Israelite Prophet, go bath seven times in the river Jordan and be cleansed, or he would remain a leper out of his sheer arrogant pride.

God is supreme. We cannot dictate for him how he should save us. His ways are not our ways. His Prophets in Israel spoke for him. Naaman may have been a great soldier, but he was no prophet, like Elisha. He was a master in military strategy, but he was a neophyte in spiritual craft. He could give orders in Syria, but Elisha gave the healing prescriptions in the land of Israel. If Naaman went to the land of the chosen people to be cured of his leprosy, then he must obey the word of the Prophet Elisha. "Strange is stranger in strange land." Naaman must not command Syrian soldiers and expect also to control God's Prophet. There are human kings, but there are spiritual kings also.

Praying the rosary, going to confessions, receiving the Holy Communion and many other Roman Catholic pious practices may not be as fiery as other forms of prayers, but they have constantly worked effectively for us, Catholics. According to our Christian faith, we cannot save ourselves. God alone can save us, and in his own terms!


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