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Monday, March 27, 2000

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2 Kings 5:1-15
Psalm 42
Luke 4:24-30

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the freedom of slavery

"So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." —2 Kings 5:14

Naaman was famous, for he was the commander of the victorious army of Aram (2 Kgs 5:1). Naaman was rich, for he could easily gave away "ten silver talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments" (2 Kgs 5:5). Naaman was politically important, for he had access to the king of Aram and through him to the king of Israel (2 Kgs 5:4ff). However, Naaman was not healed from leprosy because he was famous, rich, and important. He was healed when he listened to a message from a little slave girl (2 Kgs 5:3) and from other slaves (2 Kgs 5:13). When Naaman humbled himself before his slaves and the prophet Elisha, he was exalted (Mt 23:12) and healed.

After Elisha refused to receive any gifts from Naaman in thanksgiving for his healing, Elisha's slave, Gehazi, ran after Naaman (2 Kgs 5:20). Gehazi lied to Naaman by saying Elisha had changed his mind and would accept some gifts (2 Kgs 5:22). Elisha knew of Gehazi's deception and declared: " 'The leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.' And Gehazi left Elisha, a leper white as snow" (2 Kgs 5:27).

When a master humbles himself and becomes like a slave, he is healed. When a slave exalts himself and acts like a master, he becomes diseased.

"Be slaves of Christ the Lord" (Col 3:24).

Prayer:  "Behold, I am the slave of the Lord, let it be done to me according" to Your word, Lord (Lk 1:38, our transl).

Promise:  "As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for You, O God." —Ps 42:2

Praise:  Rather than see the Church's teachings against birth control and divorce as limiting, Timothy thanks God for them.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999