Greetings on this the Monday of the Third Week of Lent
Readings: 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab; PS 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4; Lk 4:24-30
Zarephath of Sidon, widow and mother
Elijah, a prophet
Zarephath of Sidon was asked to do a simple but strange thing to feed Elijah a cake. She had so little left the cake would have been her last meal and that of her son. She was in a state of futility. She allowed that the act of charity was if not ideal at least reasonable given the circumstances.
The Lord lifted her up. He took her from the futile and desperate situation and instead feed her throughout the famine. Moreover, when her son fell ill at a later time, Elijah resuscitated him.
Elijah interceded for her and her son. He challenged the Lord to help them.
The woman said to Elijah, “Now indeed I know that you are a man of God, and it is truly the word of the LORD that you speak.
A little girl, captured slave
Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram, Syrian
If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,”
she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went and told his lord just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
From Elisha: Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.
Sacramental gift of Eucharist is hinted at in the miracle of flour and oil accompanied with the ravens feeding Elijah bread and meat. The resuscitation also is a primitive proof text for the gifts given.
Sacramental gift of Baptism is hinted at with the seven plunging in the Jordan river.
Obedience in the Small and Inconsequential
Naaman seriously doubted the purpose of the cleansing. Perhaps even thought he would look foolish? But the little girl, captured slave, her voice no doubt gave him a new and fresh perspective to trust the prophet.
Zarephath, widowed woman, trusted yet doubted.
Elijah didn’t have it easy either. Escaping to a foreign place and being cared for by strangers in the one case.
In the other case for Elisha if the healing fails potential war between two kingdoms.
No pressure on them.
The slave girl, the widow, the Commander, the prophet all share one common theme. They all trusted the Lord even in the logic of the illogical.
The deepest problem of the people of Nazareth was they didn’t trust the Lord. They wanted the gifts given to these others for themselves without the faith and trust that comes from and with the gifts.
Trust the Lord.
Trust in doing things that seem illogical to you if these things are holy and righteous and help others.
And all will be well with you.
Peace be with you,