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Naaman and Elisha

alec vanderboom

Yesterday's Mass Reading (2 Kings 5: 1-15) is really important to me.

The first time Jon and I attended church together, back on St. Valentine's weekend of February 2000, this was the reading. (To show you how far I've recovered from my Protestant roots. I invited Jon to come to my student lead church service because I was the one giving the sermon that week!)

This whole Scripture passage is so deep. To provide the background, Naaman is warrior of a powerful foreign king who suffers from leprosy. He comes to the famous prophet of Israel, Elisha, to be cured.

2 Kings 5: 9-14

So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messanger to him saying "Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.

But Naaman became angry and went away, saying "I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be well? He turned and went away in a rage.

But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, "Wash and be clean?" 

So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean."

What does this deep passage mean to you?