Weekday of Lent 3
Today’s Rosary: Joyful Mystery
“There were many lepers in Israel, but none was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
A reading from the second Book of Kings (2 kings5:1-15a)
In those days: Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favour, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valour, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little maid from the land of Israel, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my Lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” So Naaman went in and told his Lord, “Thus and so spoke the maiden from the land of Israel.” And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten festal garments. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman was angry, and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had commanded you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather, then, when he says to you, ’wash and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he went clean. Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him; and he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 42:2.3;43 : 3.4 (R. 42:3)
R/. My soul is thirsting for God, the living God. When can I enter and appear before the face of God?
Like The deer that yearns
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God. R/.
My soul is thirsting for God,
The living God;
When can I enter and appear
Before the face of God? R/.
O send forth your light and your truth;
They will guide me on.
They will bring me to your holy mountain,
To the place where you dwell. R/.
And I will come to the altar of God,
To God, my joy and gladness.
To you will I give thanks on the harp,
O God, my God. R/.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
I wait for the Lord, and in his word I hope; with him is mercy and plenteous redemption.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Like Elijah and Elisha Jesus is not sent only to the Jews.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 4:24-30)
At that time: when Jesus had come to Nazareth, he said to the people in the synagogue, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed but only Naaman the Syrian. When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away.
The Gospel of the Lord.
When you are doing well, and you have won the approval of many people, the expectation is that the people closest to you, your kith and kin, will be among them. According to Jesus in today’s Gospel, that expectation is not always met. As a matter of fact, your own people can be offended by your very success. More often than not, it is because they know you only too well. As the saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” The lack of recognition by his people did not deter Jesus from carrying on with his mission of salvation. The lack of recognition by people should not stop a disciple of Jesus from doing whatever good he has been sent to do.