Reflection for Monday, March 16, 2020: 3rd week in Lent.

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
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2020-03-16
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en_US
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|Today's Lenten readings seem to be about letting God heal us.|Naaman hears there is a prophet in this foreign land who could cure his skin disease. The trouble is, he doesn't like what Elisha suggests for his healing. His logic goes: The rivers of my home in Damascus, Syria, would have been just fine to wash in. In fact, they'd be cleaner and better. Why should I come all this way to wash in the Jordan?|I think you and I do this sometimes. We withhold our belief, and therefore, the chance of our own healing. I can make a lot of excuses why I might not see what sense it makes to return to God, the way, along the path, that Jesus suggests. So, I can go through Lent, not getting healed, because I don't agree with "the terms" of the healing process.|In the gospel, Jesus highlights another problem. He can't work healing among his neighbors. He says we don't accept prophets in our midst. We've all probably heard the sadly comical remark that the definition of an "expert" is "someone from 500 miles away.|Sometimes we can want the right book, the right speaker or workshop or experience, and not accept - or perhaps never really see - something that is so right before our eyes. It's too "familiar" to be a pathway to grace, we say.|A grace offered us today could be to step back and humbly ask our Lord, "What is it you want to give me these remaining days of Lent, dear Lord? How can I be open to the simple process of your way to greater life, greater freedom, greater joy?" If the Lord is calling me these days for a purer heart - with less anger and judgment, for example - or a more peaceful heart - with less anxiety and worry, for example - or a heart that is more generous and dying to self - with family and in regards to alms-giving to the poor, for example - it just might be that the healing offered me is quite simple. It may be that all I need is to let myself grow in intimacy with Jesus - friend to friend - and to simply ask, with an open heart, "Heal me, dear Lord. Please heal me. I so desire to be healed and to be renewed by you, for a deeper, fuller, freer, more loving life."|Naaman's servants reasoned with 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." If the Lord had asked us something really difficult and out of the ordinarily, we might be attracted to that. All the more, then, might we not simply name where we need to be relieved of our unfree patterns and ask to be healed, with an open heart?
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University Ministry, Creighton University.
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These reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.
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