HOMILY OF THE MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF LENT
2 Kings 5:1-15, Luke 4:24-30
THEME: THE WORD OF A PROPHET
To qualify as a prophet, a person must have the privilege of receiving divine revelation from God. A prophet is God’s own mouthpiece. He hears directly from God and speaks to the people. He relays authoritative words from God to individuals, communities and nations. He is meant to inspire people to follow God’s ways so as to live a happy life.
In the first reading, Naaman was doubtful when Elisha instructed that he should go and dip himself in the river as the condition for his healing from leprosy. Elisha did not come out to see him, neither did he make any outward show of power. He simply believed in the power of the word that he spoke and the authority of the word. His instruction to Naaman was just simple. “Go and bathe seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will become clean once more.” When Naaman finally obeyed, he was cleansed.
Unfortunately, today, we have many people who claim to be prophets of God, popping up from various corners, claiming to hear from God and they keep producing conflicting prophecies. They often throw innocent and desperate people into confusion through their harmful and divisive messages. If you listen to them, you may suffer eventually, if you refuse to listen, your conscience might make you think you have disobeyed the man of God. It takes God’s grace to save us from this problem.
Nonetheless, the coming of Jesus into the world has made it simpler for all to reach God directly. According to the letter of St Paul to the Hebrews, it reads, “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he created the ages” (Hebrew 1 :1-3). A close relationship with Jesus can save us from the hold of some of the modern prophets whose divine mandate has turned into a business.
Sadly, Jesus as well, was not fully welcomed by his own people as he said, “‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.” It is sad that we often look down on what or who is supposed to help us. Like Naaman, we associate greatness or success with impressive demonstrations. We do not have much trust in God’s simplicity as he constantly comes to mingle with his people. We make so much fuss about sacred places and lose sight of God who is present in all creation.
Therefore, we pray that we have a special encounter with Jesus. He is the only one who can satisfy our longings. He is the perfect person who would make our lives and our communities normal. May he heal us and redeemed our nations. Amen.