Readings for Today
What type of God do you wish? One who is the “Hollywood Special Effects” God, or one who does what is best for us at all times, even in ways that might seem quite ordinary. Poor Naaman. He would have done anything had is been spectacular, and not involved and “oh so ordinary” river. Nothing magic. Nothing spectacular. Just go and bathe. Fortunately for him, Naaman had servants that cared for him.
“If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.” While it is true that in the sacraments we are surrounded by the extraordinary, they look very ordinary. Water. Wafers. Oil. Words. Laying on of hands. Our worship, our praise often appears quite ordinary without faith. But with faith, it becomes eternal. It affords us eternal life because the extraordinary Jesus becomes present in ordinary ways.
We can be too much like Naaman. Expecting God to do something extraordinary. This is a common temptation. In a few weeks we will hear the people wonder why the one who opened the eyes of the blind man could not do something for Lazarus, or those who mock Jesus by telling him to “come down from that cross”.
The psalm reminds us that authentic discipleship means being athirst for God, to be longing for that relationship with Christ that fulfills more than we can possibly imagine, not by magic, but by the profound love Jesus has for each one of us.