Naaman and Elisha were both men who wielded much power, Naaman as a successful military man and great favourite of the King of Damascus, Elisha a Man of God with a reputation for healing among the Israelite community.
Unfortunately Naaman had Leprosy and wanted to be healed of this blot on his career which caused him great anxiety. He had tried many accepted ways for healing but nothing ever occurred. A little Israelite girl who had become a slave in the family in the house of his enemy suggested that he go to Elisha the healer and ask him for healing. Elisha suggested to Naaman bathe in the River Jordan. This was a bit annoying and insulting for Naaman. After all they had many good rivers of their own, why the Jordan. Reluctantly, he did what was required of him, he bathed in the River Jordan and he was healed. He was overcome with his cure and returned to thank the Prophet, acknowledging that for certain there was no other God in the whole world but your God.
In the message Paul is entrusting to Timothy, it is both simple and profound: Speaking of Jesus he says ‘Remember who He is and who you are, disciples of the Lord , all of you. Each one has received the Message. Paul urges Timothy to encourage the community to be true witnesses, and steadfast in passing the message on. The Lord will himself give you understanding in all things. God works with faith however weak it may be. We are all weak and vulnerable but we remember the suffering of Jesus. Remembering is one of the most powerful gifts of our humanity. It enables us to hope for the better, and the best. Paul is most anxious that Timothy’s community remembers the one who suffered.’ It enables the community of believers to hope for the better, the best to stand firm. Paul is most anxious that the Community REMEMBERS. HIM, HIS SUFFERING: AND THAT HIS WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS.
Gospel Luke : 17 11-19
In the gospel what we learn is that God’s Love for us is unfathomable but He likes to be thanked. Oftentimes gratitude does not come easily with us. We forget to thank even for the most profound of gifts. We have each of us experienced this. Gratitude strengthens us. Why and Who has gifted us with the power to be grateful?
Sr. Dominique Horgan OP