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Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Lent Week 3: Monday

Monday, March 28, 2011
Today's reading: 2 Kings 5:1ff; Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4; Luke 4:24-30


As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;

Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!

My soul is longing for holiness and fidelity. My soul is longing for true love. My soul is longing for God. Christ is the prophet who brings us all this. Generously, he grants us all what we are longing for. It is free, and for us to receive. But to be able to open ourselves to God's gifts, we need one thing.

In the first reading, we hear about Naaman the Syrian, the army commander of the king of Aram. He wants to be healed. He is a man of power, a mighty man. But he has got a disease from which there is no cure, leprosy. He sets out from his homeland, with horses and chariots filled with gifts, to ask for help from the prophet Elisha. Elisha sends him a message ordering Naaman to wash himself in the river of Jordan seven times. Naaman gets upset, offended, and cries out: “I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the Lord his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy”. The army commander is longing to be healed. But the prescription is just not the way he expected it to be.

This reading has one important thing in common with today’s Gospel. Jesus is back in his home village, where he has grown up. He has played in the streets, participated in feasts and daily life, he has belonged to this little society for years. The people here know him. Now he proclaims his prophetic identity. Sure, the people are hoping for a Messiah, a liberator that will set them free from the Roman domination and restore Israel in its splendour. But surely it cannot be this Nazarene?

Isn’t it often the same in our lives? Oh, I want to serve and work for God, but who said that I’m the one who has to make sure we’ve got bread and milk in the house at all times, that I have to take out the garbage? We just as well say: I’ll do anything for God, as long as I can decide what to do! 

To receive the gifts of God, we are challenged to let go of our own view. To follow Christ is to search for his path, to do his will. How can we best serve Him? It is a useful exercise of humility to abandon our limited perspective to search for him whose view is anchored in love and truth.

The psalm expresses our deepest desire in human life, to be close to our creator. Let us then pray with the psalm, as we are on our way to the Holy Mountain, that He will send forth his light and his fidelity; that they shall lead us and we may be united with the God of our gladness and joy…

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