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Monday, March 12, 2012

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2 Kings 5:1-15
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Luke 4:24-30

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humility is the key

"His servants came up and reasoned with him." —2 Kings 5:13

Naaman was not just any military leader. He was the army commander of the king of Aram and a war hero who had brought victory to Aram (2 Kgs 5:1). In such a prestigious position, Naaman was very wealthy (see 2 Kgs 5:5). Naaman was among the elite. He was top gun.

Elisha was an extrovert. He worked many miracles, usually with a flair. However, when Naaman came to Elisha to be healed of leprosy, Elisha did not come out to see, talk to, or pray with Naaman (2 Kgs 5:10-11). Naaman felt snubbed and angry (2 Kgs 5:12).

The rationale for Elisha's uncharacteristic behavior may have been to give Naaman the opportunity to humble himself. When we humble ourselves, we open the door to God and to healing, for the Lord "is stern with the arrogant but to the humble He shows kindness" (1 Pt 5:5). When Naaman swallowed his pride and listened to Elisha and the advice even of his servants, he was healed (2 Kgs 5:14).

Jesus tried a similar approach with His hometown folk. He bluntly told them they were depriving themselves of God's graces because they did not accept His prophets (Lk 4:24-27). They could have humbled themselves, accepted correction from Jesus, and repented. Instead, they tried to throw Jesus over a cliff, and Jesus walked away (Lk 4:30). Humble yourself and give the Lord the opportunity to exalt you (Mt 23:12).

Prayer:  Father, may I open the door separating me from You with the key called "humility."

Promise:  "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." —2 Kgs 5:14

Praise:  Sondra quit looking for great signs and wonders and determined to trust God in faith.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011

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