Daily Reflection
March 24th, 2003
Dick Hauser, S.J.
Rector, Theology Department
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2 Kings 5:1-15
Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4
Luke 4:24-30

Today's readings are apt for our troubled world expressing a  truth we have tended to forget in these times of international strife: God infinitely loves every member of the human family.

Naaman the Syrian was not a Jew; yet through the prophet Elisha God chose to cure him of his leprosy.  This message of Jesus to the Nazorean Jews was so scandalous to them that filled with fury they drove Jesus from the synagogue intending to throw him over the brow of the hill.  They were resentful that Jesus was calling attention to the false assumption that enemies of the Jews were automatically unloved by God and so were also God's enemies.

The truth of God's universal love was boldly reiterated at the Second Vatican Council.  The Council assures us that at Pentacost God poured forth God's Spirit on believers: "When the work which the Father had given the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might sanctify the Church, and thus all believers would have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit.  He is the Spirit of life, a fountain springing up to life eternal.  Through him the Father gives life to men who are dead from sin, till at last he revives in Christ even their mortal bodies."

But the Council assures us of another truth:  God pours forth the Spirit on all people of good will: "All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all people of good will in whose hearts grace works in a unseen way.  For since Christ died for all people, and since the ultimate vocation of humanity is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every person the possibility of being associated with the paschal mystery." (Church in the Modern World, #22)

We need to be reminded during these troubled times that the Spirit of God lives in the hearts of faith-filled believers of every religion -- Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, and Muslims.  All are "associated with the paschal mystery."  The conclusion is evident: What we do to the least of these we do to the Lord.

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