Tuesday of the 22nd Week of the Year

Luke 4:31-37

The Cure of a Demoniac


Jesus took the existence of evil very seriously. With calm authority he expelled the evil force from the man in the synagogue. What has this to do with us?

Evil is a reality. We encounter evil in ourselves when tempted, when we give in to temptations, when we do what we actually do not intend to do, when we ignore the voice of our conscience. We encounter evil in the persons around us, in our society, in the world. Often we get the impression that our society is permeated by evil. What do we do?

St. Paul leads us to the basic attitude we must have to encounter evil; to follow the urgings of the Holy Spirit which bars evil from entering and does not allow spreading in one’s life.

Life is and remains a spiritual warfare. The devil will always try to attack and weaken our defences. Jesus demonstrates what we are to do. When confronted with evil, he remains calm. For he knows that God is with and in him. With calm authority he rejects evil. And that is what he wants us to do. Do not get nervous, do not get excited. Remain calm. Unite yourself with the Spirit of God dwelling in your heart and reject the evil that attacks you from inside or from outside.

Trust in God’s powerful help. With God on our side, the evil one is powerless. This certitude will guarantee our victory over all evil in and around us. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


“Father, will you also sprinkle holy water in this corner?” after the house blessing when I inquired about the extra request, the answer was: “Kasi, Father kung minsan parang may lumalabas doon…” This scene is repeated in many house blessings. As if when the construction of a new house is completed, bad spirits automatically rush together to occupy the building! Very unbiblical. The book of Genesis proclaims that everything that God creates is good.

Ironically, modern men/women who live in the most technologically advanced era, still find themselves in the grip of so many “spirits.” A surgeon asked me to come and see her maid whom he claimed was possessed by a demon. A dean with PhD to his name sent someone to our community to fetch any priest who could exorcise his office from kamalasan. These examples are only few.

What is a healthy stand about “spirit?” Must modern man/woman deny its existence? Whereas medicine and science have provided answers to many puzzles and mysteries of life and nature, they have not permanently solved all the mysteries in life. Paul Tournier, a physician and author of many books, abandoned his practice of medicine because he had discovered that many of his patients were not sick in body. Can you imagine patient who is sick but is not sick at the same time? Perhaps after all, there are unexplained “spirits” that make people unwell.

Confronted by a spirit that tormented a man, Jesus said sharply: “Be quiet! Come out of him!” And out came the spirit. Such power coming from Jesus! “What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out,” declared those who witnessed the event.

Is there anything that enslaves us? Work? Vice? Sin? Pride? Money? Power? Sex? Are we “sick”? is there anything that make us unwell even if we appear healthy? Do we need deliverance?

How about trying the power of Jesus (in the sacraments)? (Fr. Atilano Concuera, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


The message is clear: Jesus has absolute power and authority over everything including human illnesses and demons. Demons know who Jesus is and they obey His commands.

The gospel portrays Jesus as the ultimate healer of both physical, social and spiritual illnesses, including demonic possessions.

What is common in the healings that occurred is the faith of people in Jesus’ haling power, the kind of faith that can ‘move mountains,’ the kind of faith that motivates men to bring people they care about, who are hurting and suffering, into the healing power of the Lord. It’s not enough that we believe in God we must do something about that faith. We must let other people know so that they too may have a chance to experience God. This is our personal ministry.

In daily life our faith in God’s healing and saving power can be manifested in different ways. Priests and religious chose to make the propagation of God’s saving presence their full time and life concern.

Lay people spread the word and the work of God by assisting in church services, organizing charitable activities like medical and dental missions for the poor and other projects. Schools and communities do it by encouraging and coordinating community services beneficial to the poor and the needy in our society. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


The Word of God does four things to and for us:

It Judges – we cannot just bear it and forget it (Jn 12:48)

It purifies – expose evil, points out the good (Jn 15:3; Tim 4:5)

It obligates – if you bear it, you must pass it on (Acts 4:4)

It renews – gives you a new life (1Pt 1:23)

(Sr. Mildred, SSpS Bible Diary 2006)


Jesus of Nazareth was a faithful Jew. He regularly attended “Church” services on the Sabbath to pray and have “Bible Sharing” sessions with the Jewish community members.

In today’s gospel, we find him in the synagogue of Capernaum, his second home. Here, people listened to Him intently for he taught them “with authority.”

What this mean: “to teach with authority?” one obvious meaning would be that he thoroughly knew the Jewish HHHHHdddddhhhholy Books that part of the Bible we now called the Old Testament. He knew how to explain the often confusing passages read from old scrolls in the synagogue, furthermore, He not only explained well these passages but also showed His power with accompanying miraculous acts. In the healing of a person possessed by an evil spirit, Jesus did only heal the mental ignorance of the people concerning the Old Testament but also healed their bodily ailments. One who can do these commands respect, emulation, authority! You and I should listen to Mama Mary’s advice at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you!” like the waiters and guests at that wedding feast, if we intently listen and follow Jesus’ instructions today, “miracles” of wonderful changes will happen in our lives. We will be healed spiritually and corporally. In the midst of insecurity and hopelessness, we can still be happy. (Fr. Flor Camacho, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


A comedian characterized his goals in his craft as the urge to create not only a successful show but one ‘different’ from other comedians. Great artists like painters or sculptors work not only at producing striking creations but also unique styles. Similarly great musicians are not content with creating memorable music; they also want to develop their “own sound,” a distinctive way of expressing oneself in music that is unmistakable from everyone else’s. That is why we cannot confuse Freddie Aguilar with Diomedes Maturan or Mariah Carey with Lea Salonga or Nat King Cole with Rey Charles.

There are sounds we resonate with spontaneously because of a particular connection, a special bond. A mother can pick out her infant’s voice amid a dozen crying babies. A teacher knows almost unerringly who made the remark as her back was turned.  A choir director can isolate the particular singer whose note was ever so slightly off-key. All of them can do so because they are either attuned to special sounds or have been expecting them.

Jesus too has special sound which his intimates recognized. “it is the Lord!” the disciples at sea cried, pausing from their fishing exertion. “Rabboni,” Mary exclaimed as she realized it was He and not the gardener who had so tenderly called her name. It was the same voice, this time full of power that abated the wind and calmed the storm. It was the same authoritative voice which demons recognized as Jesus uncompromisingly drove them out of their victims. It was the same voice which Jesus used to appeal to His disciples: my sheep hear my voice.

But it was not only the sound that was unique. His contemporaries also wondered about his message. What is there about His word….??? Something about that voice reached further into one’s depths unlike other voices. It was the voice of God addressing each of His creatures in knowing ways. It was a voice that comforted and liberated. In the case of the paralytic, it is a voice that says you need not be crippled, stand up and walk. In the case of the woman bent over and unable to stand, it is a voice which says you need not be oppressed, stand up straight and take your rightful place among everyone else’s. Andin the case of the possessed, it is the voice that challenges evil and breaks its hold, bringing peace to the wretched.

In the game called, “Name that Tune,” a contestant tries to guess the title of the song with the fewest notes or bars the pianist plays. Similarly the pitch, the rhythm, the phrasing – all these cue us into the special tunes Jesus has for each of us, melodies we would instantly recognize were we but more aware of our needs for him. The gospel us to name the tune, to look especially for the upswing and the downswing, the religious cadence, if you will, of Jesus’ word, the counter-points so unique in His parables, for example. Often Jesus will start with a religious truth and then swing it downward to human application. At other times Jesus will start with human truth and then swing it upward to divine connection. With unfailing synchronicity and with unmistakable authority. (Fr. Diony Miranda, SVD Bible Diary 2008)



“They were astonished at his teaching because He spoke with authority.” Jesus was teaching and those were listening to Him were astonished. Why? Because He spoke with authority, says our evangelist. So, how is it to speak with authority and why should this astonish anyone? The key to this is to be found in the story of the man possessed by a demon. At the end of the narrative we are told that the people were amazed began asking each other, “What is there about His words? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” It seems that Jesus’ authority was coming from His words. His words had power; by them he was able to command the demon to depart. “Be made clean,” he said to the demoniac, and immediately the demoniac was cleansed.

The power of the word recalls the Word of creation. “Let there be light” and there was light! There is something creative about words. Words create and so we have such a college course simply titled “Creative Writing.” Each year someone receives the much-awaited Novel Prize for Literature solely for the world to recognize the power and original beauty of words. Words are the flesh by which ideas are made visible and sent across peoples and nations; they are the medium of communication and dialogue. Cultural exchange is unimaginable in the absence of words.

A healing miracle such as what we witness in today’s gospel is symbolic of God’s creative power, showing that something significant is taking place. To put it plainly, a miracle points to the arrival of the kingdom.  “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” proclaims John the Baptist. ‘At hands’ means, that, it is already here. The Kingdom is not a distant dreamland still to come in a remote unknown time.  It is here! The power of Jesus’ word signifies that time have changed, that things are no longer as before, that now has already been transfigured and transformed. His Word cuts through the darkness and has the power to transform our lives and create for us a new heaven and new earth. (Bro. Romy Abulad, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


August 30, 2016 Tuesday

Silence enables us to listen. It also teaches us to be attuned to God’s workings in our life.  Today’s gospel tells us of Jesus commanding the evil spirit to be quiet and leave the body it possessed.

The devil obliged. It could not endure being around with Jesus, especially in silence.  In many ways, evil thrives in noise, particularly in moments when we allow our pride, selfishness, and hatred to get the better of us and prevent us from listening. Silence requires patience which in turn needs humility and trust. Silence is God’s most assuring way of connecting with us.

And because silence connects and bonds, it strengthens and so is valiant. “When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion,” so goes an African proverb, underlining the power of togetherness which is oftentimes brought about by listening silence.

Silence is the key. It enables us to settle down and take stock of what we have and what we still need. It forces us to listen and realize that there is more to God’s presence than we normally experience Him.  “Quiet!” the Lord tells the devil. Quiet because God is in our midst, and with Him we are blessed, stronger and safe. (Fr. Sisoy Cellan, SVD Kenya Bible 2016)



STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS (Lk 4:33-35): When we hear the word God, varied images come to mind. For some people, when we speak of God, the image that crosses their mind is an old man with a long white beard who is sitting on a chair. That is the grandfather God. For some people, when we speak of God, the image that comes to their mind is a man wearing golden robes, a crown on his head, a sceptre on his hand. There are those, like the Europeans, who when we speak of God, are reminded of the paintings in the Vatican, especially the works of Michelangelo. The image of God to them is a muscular man, touching a human hand, creating the universe out of nothing. That is the weightlifter God.

We have varied images of God. All our images of God are those that depict Him as God of Power, God of Might and God of Strength.  Today in the gospel, even the evil spirit called Jesus Christ by another title – the Holy One of God. What is the response of Jesus when He was addressed the Holy One, the Good One and the Great One? He said to the evil spirit, “Keep quiet!” why did the Lord tell the devil to keep quiet? For one reason, the Lord did not come here to display His power. He did not come to brag of His might or to tell everybody, “I am very holy and you are not.” He did not come here to parade His power, might and holiness. The Lord did not come here to be successful the Lord became Jesus Christ to the faithful to the Father’s will. The Lord did not come here to get acclaimed. The Lord came here to be nobody. He was born in Bethlehem. He was raised in Nazareth, a no-no town. If He wanted to be somebody, he should have grown in Jerusalem. He opted to be a nobody, to give meaning and purpose to our nobodies. The Lord did not come here to take away our pains. The Lord came here to assume our pains. The Lord did not come here to be handsome. The Lord come here to assume the ugliness of our human suffering.

In the Eucharist, the Lord will come again to us under the appearance of bread and wine, sacramental signs. I would like to call to mind one truth that the Lord will come to us not in the appearance of a cake, deliciously sweet and irresistible. The Lord will come to us under the appearance of host – pure flour, no salt, sugar or baking powder added to it, only water and flour, simple. The Lord’s blood will be given to us not like champagne which is expensive, not like brandy or whisky. But the Lord will come to us under the appearance of simple wine.

While the Lord encourages us not to run away from pain, the Lord comes to us to embrace pain. The Lord comes to us to embrace our human weakness. Let us not be afraid of birth pains. Let us not be afraid to be weak. Let us not afraid to get sick. In our weakness, our weakness, our powerlessness, the power of God shines forth through us even more. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, pp. 238-239)


V. 36: Through Jesus’ words, devils come out, storms are pacified, the sick are healed, sinners are forgiven. what power do our words have over people and nature? Do our words heal, and forgive, destroy or build up people?  Watch your words. Be sure they’re good (Fr. Ching OP).


Reflection for Tuesday September 2, Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 4:31-37 – Reflection: During 1982, I was in high school then; late afternoon after school while walking to our house. I saw a grouping of people and I also heard a very loud but unrecognizable voice. Out of curiosity I walked going to them to simply see what they were looking at and to find out where that big voice was coming from.

There I saw a man with devilish eyes being held-on by a number of men, when the man was asked who was he answered with a frightening voice that he was the devil. Afterwards somebody came (I don’t know if it was priest of a pastor) who said prayers and sprinkled holy water on him while invoking the name of Jesus. While this was being administered to him the man was violently resisting and shouting until he calmed down and he passed-out soon after.

In our gospel we read about Jesus exorcising a demon from a possessed man. After Jesus exorcised the possessed man the crowd said, What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out (Luke 4:36).”

The crowd did not know Jesus that’s why they marvelled about the power and authority of His word. Unlike the crowd in the gospel who did not know, we know Jesus; we know where His power and authority is coming from. Let us therefore take advantage of our knowledge of Jesus. Let us dive deeper into it by regularly reflecting upon His powerful words in the bible and by our regular presence at Holy Mass.

By doing these acts of faith we permanently immunize ourselves from the possession of the devil. Which is still very active and pervading (in many disguises) up to this very moment.

The devil is very real! When you sense that he (devil) is near you (Through the many kinds of temptations and so forth) never fail to invoke the mighty and powerful name of Jesus! – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Monday, August 31, 2015

Reflection for September 1, Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 4:31-37

Reflection: Do you give time to read the words of Jesus in the bible? Many of us do not have time to read but when it comes to other worldly things we create time.

If only we would give time for Jesus we would certainly feel His authority and power working within us. How does the authority and power of Jesus work in us? Here’s a practical example, if during the time that you still don’t know Jesus you were temperamental. After discovering Jesus in your life you will now become calm and peaceful.

If before you are easily affected by sad events that come your way. Not so much anymore now for the simple reason that you already learned to surrender your life to Jesus. There are other true stories of transformed lives all because of Jesus.

But many have not yet experienced the power and authority of Jesus in their lives. So what are you going to do? You who have already experienced the transforming power and authority of Jesus! You have to lead them to Jesus, you have to encourage them to open and read their bibles.

You certainly will be blessed by Jesus if you do so. Perhaps not material blessing for its temporal and fleeting anyway. Perhaps Jesus would give you the gift of intellect and other blessings that is not seen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



THE EVIL SPIRIT AND THE HOLY SPIRIT – When Jesus is confronted by Satan in the form of a possessed man, it’s interesting that He does not discuss things with the devil. He just commands, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”

The devil is still a reality today. He does not approach us in a possessed person, or with horns and tail. No, “the devil wears Prada,” meaning he has adjusted to the modern world and disguises himself as a nice person. Jesus has come to liberate us. He will set the world free from the presence of Satan forever, as the Book of Revelation says. Satan may still win a few battles, but he has already lost the war. We must not fear him; instead let us reject him when we feel he is tempting us.

But we should not forget that there is another powerful Spirit — the Holy Spirit. St. Paul, in today’s First Reading, speaks of two kinds of people: those who cannot “see” yet the things of God, such as His plan of salvation, because they don’t know how to use a spiritual microscope, and those who can see all those wonderful realities using a spiritual microscope.

St. Paul spontaneously refers to this spiritual microscope as the Holy Spirit, the natural mediator communicating God’s revelation to us. Paul explains that just as we alone know our innermost thoughts by the work of our mind, so also only the Spirit of God can know His deepest secrets and communicate them to us.

We cannot see the Holy Spirit, but we can see its effects through its spiritual gifts. It is like the wind which we cannot see. We sense the wind only by its effects: feeling its coolness or seeing leaves on the trees moving.

But one of the most important effects of the Holy Spirit is to make us focus on Jesus and the Father. That is why Jesus was so keen on sending His Spirit — so that we might finally come to understand who Jesus is.

If we want to progress rapidly in our spiritual journey, let us offer ourselves to the Holy Spirit and, as a side effect, we will also be able to resist the temptations of that dark spirit, the devil. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you aware of the spiritual warfare that’s going on in your heart and in the world around you? Do you cling to the Holy Spirit to resist temptations?

Lord, send Your powerful Holy Spirit so that I may never give in to the temptations of the evil one.



THE NEED FOR A SPIRITUAL MICROSCOPE – What a scary scene in the Synagogue of Capernaum! Jesus is confronted by the devil in the form of a man who is possessed by evil spirits. Interesting that Jesus does not discuss things with the devil. He just commands, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”

The devil is still a reality in our times. He will not appear to us with horns and tail and an ugly face. No, “the devil wears Prada,” meaning he has adjusted to the modern world and approaches us in the guise of a kind and nice person. But we should not forget that there are not only evil spirits, but that there is a powerful Spirit, also unseen — the Holy Spirit.

Before the invention of the microscope, we could not “see” what was just under our noses. Even today, primitive people who have been isolated from the modern world and its technology laugh at the idea that their drinking water is full of tiny life forms invisible to the naked eye but could be very harmful to their health. A microscope reveals this reality.

We need a spiritual microscope that makes us see unseen realities. Because the evil spirits and the Holy Spirit are in themselves so transparent that we cannot see them – and we often think they don’t exist. We can see only their effects. Evil or spiritual gifts are some of their effects. In other words, cruelty, human-made suffering, terrorism are effects of the evil spirits. And the Holy Spirit is like the wind which we cannot see but we sense only by its effects: coolness on the skin, leaves on the trees moving, waves on the water, and so on.

But one of the most important effects of the Holy Spirit is its focus on Jesus and the Father. That is precisely why Jesus was so keen on sending His Spirit — so that we might finally come to understand who Jesus is. As He said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will lead you to the complete truth…” (John 16:13-14). You know you are using your spiritual microscope when you look at the effects. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you analyze the roots of events around you to discern whether the evil spirit or the Holy Spirit is behind them?

Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to unseen realities. Help me to be always alert of the causes of events around me and trust that You will protect me from evil influences. Amen.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 4:31-37. KINSA MAN ANG MAS LABAW’NG GAMHANAN – ANG DIOS BA O ANG YAWA? Ang mga karaang tawo sa Tunga-tungang Sidlakan adunay patoo-too nga kon mailhan ug mahinganlan nimo ang imong kaaway pwede nimo siyang tumbahon ug lupigon. Mao kini ang gisulayan paghimo sa yawa sa dihang kini misinggit sa makusog, “Hesus nga taga-Nazaret, unsay imong tuyo kanamo? Nakaila ako kinsa ka: ikaw mao ang balaang sulugoon sa Dios!” Pero, wala tagda ni Hesus kining maong mga pulong. Hinoon, gimandoan ni Hesus ang yawa, nga wala gani niya hinganli, sa paggula gikan sa tawo. Usa kini ka pagpakita sa gahum sa Dios nga nipatigbabaw batok sa yawa. Kining ebanghelyo magdasig kanato sa pagsalig sa Dios ug sa pagsangpit Kaniya diha sa atong pagpakigbatok sa gahum sa mga daotan. Posted by Abet Uy



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – LUKAS 4:31-37. KINSA MAN ANG MAS LABAW’NG GAMHANAN – ANG DIOS BA O ANG YAWA? Ang mga karaang tawo sa Tunga-tungang Sidlakan adunay patoo-too nga kon mailhan ug mahinganlan nimo ang imong kaaway pwede nimo siyang tumbahon ug lupigon. Mao kini ang gisulayan paghimo sa yawa sa dihang kini misinggit sa makusog, “Hesus nga taga-Nazaret, unsay imong tuyo kanamo? Nakaila ako kinsa ka: ikaw mao ang balaang sulugoon sa Dios!” Pero, wala tagda ni Hesus kining maong mga pulong. Hinoon, gimandoan ni Hesus ang yawa, nga wala gani niya hinganli, sa paggula gikan sa tawo. Ang gahum sa Dios mopatigbabaw batok sa gahum sa yawa ug busa, kita nga iyang mga anak dili gayod angay nga mahadlok sa mga daotan. Si Woodrow Kroll nag-ingon: “With the power of God within us, we need never fear the powers around us.” Posted by Abet Uy



September 1, 2015

Tuesday of the 22nd Week in the Ordinary Time B

1 Thes 5: 1-6, 9-11, Lk 4: 31-37

Challenge of the Evil Spirit

Today’s Gospel passage comes just after the rejection of Jesus at his home town Nazareth. In contrast to that experience of Nazareth, here in Capernaum people accept him with both hands. Capernaum was a town on the north shore of Galilee. Later it became the base from which Jesus did much of his missionary work. As in Nazareth, he taught the people in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Unlike in Nazareth, his teaching made a deep impression on the people. He performed many miracles. The first one among them was the healing of the possessed.

The reaction of the evil spirit when it saw Jesus is something that catches our attention at the beginning of the passage. The demon cries out, “Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” Do you think, it is an acknowledgement of the authority of Jesus as the Christ? I don’t think so. Note the scorn in the address of Jesus as Jesus of Nazareth. The evil spirit tries to tell Jesus, ‘I know you are from Nazareth. Remember what happened in Nazareth recently. You are the rejected one from your home town!!’

That is the work of the evil spirit even today. It wants to discourage people. It wants to constantly remind us how despicable our condition is, how sinful we are, and we cannot get up from our fallen state. That is just the opposite of the attitude of Jesus. He wants us to get up and follow him leaving aside the burden of our sins. He tells us that even if we are great sinners, there is salvation in him because he wants to forgive us and give us salvation.

Furthermore, the words of the evil spirit are an open challenge to Jesus; not an acknowledgement of the divinity of Jesus: ‘I know who you are!’ The evil spirits continue to challenge Jesus throughout his ministry. At the beginning he defeated it. But it continued to challenge him often and again. But each time Jesus defeats it. The evil spirits will challenge us too when we are on the path of God; that too in many ways. Remember how Jesus faces them.

Acknowledging Jesus as the Lord and Master needs humility. That was precisely what the demon lacked. Let us acknowledge the authority of Jesus with humility. He is the one who conquered the world. Let us put our trust in him. Every day of ours is full of conflicts. The Satan is also busy trying to entice us and challenging us. Let us be aware of this fact. Move cautiously and courageously with the power of the Spirit.

The response of the people is also something to be noted. “And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” What happened was something new to them. Of course there were exorcists at that time, who could chase out the evil spirits. But the way they used to do it and Jesus did it was quite different. There were no elaborate rubrics needed for Jesus. He just ordered and the spirits obeyed. It was quite new to them. They became amazed at the authority of Jesus as the Lord of heaven and earth, man and spirit.

Jesus was authority incarnate- the Word of God made flesh. It was God who spoke when he spoke. It was God who did miracles when he performed them. His authority came from his Father. It was the delegated authority from his Father. Let us not be wavered in our faith. We have Jesus with us. No evil will prevail against us. We have the one with all the authority from heaven and earth with us as our master of our life. That is our consolation. Dr Martin Mallathu CMI



August 30, 2016

REFLECTION: One of the striking things about Elisha, the man of God, is his freedom. He is not at all impressed by the fact that his visitor is none other than Naaman, a valiant, highly esteemed, respected army general who has brought victory to his country, and who comes to “buy” his cure for leprosy with “ten talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.” When Naaman arrives at Elisha’s door, he does not get down from his chariot and instead waits for the prophet to come out to him. But Elisha does not go out to greet his famous (and arrogant) visitor. He merely sends him a message through his servant. To Elisha, the great general is no more than any other man. Naaman receives no special privilege, no V.I.P. treatment, no particular attention through a private consultation.

The people who are close to God enjoy the same inner freedom as Elisha. Why? Because the fact of being deeply attached to God detaches them from all that is not God. And this includes money, power, prestige, fame, youth, beauty, etc. When all is said and done, the ultimate power is love, which nothing can buy or conquer by force.



Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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