Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

March 12, 2012

Mandy Widegren

Sophomore, Biology Major, Pre-Dental

2 Kgs 5:1-15ab
Ps 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4
Lk 4:24-30

What I love about the first reading is the simplicity of the healing. Naaman came with gold and silver and came with an idea that Elisha would perform something extraordinary so he could be healed. But none of this was needed; it was just a simple washing in the river. Naaman was enraged! This didn’t seem like the way to be healed! Sometimes it seems that in order to be forgiven something extraordinary must happen or we must jump through hoops or even bribe the person for forgiveness. Isn’t that how it is with humans? In order to receive forgiveness from someone doesn’t it seem like we must work just to earn their forgiveness? Yet this isn’t how it is with God. He washes away our sins and our transgressions just as he washed away Naaman’s leprosy. God loves us so much that his forgiveness is unconditional – we don’t have to jump through hoops to obtain his mercy.  We are continual sinners. We fall down over and over again but God never stops letting us go to the river. If we bathe in his word and his love we will all be made clean.

To me, the interesting part of the reading is not the washing clean, but the people who make up the narrative. Naaman was highly esteemed because he brought victories to Aram. Yet he still had leprosy.  God takes us and loves us despite our sins. This leper was not a social outcast but was victorious. That’s how it is with us too. God doesn’t make us social outcasts because we sin but instead allows us to succeed and grow despite our sins. He loves us enough to forgive us and not let our sins hold us back.

 Another person in the reading was a little servant girl who told Naaman to go to Elisha to be healed.  This little girl was aware of God’s saving presence. Even at her young age she knew of God’s healing power. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a child’s innocence and trust? Sometimes as we grow older our trust in God’s healing power fails because we have seen hardships and despair, but we are all called to have the faith that a child has - faith that God will heal us and forgive us.

Today we are called to be washed clean of our sins. Lent is a time of preparation and forgiveness, so what a perfect time to be made clean. Wash in God’s forgiveness, be grateful of his unconditional love and mercy, extend forgiveness to those who have hurt you and try to emulate the type of faith that a child has.

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