Homilette for February 25, 2008

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

(II Kings 5:1-15ab)

In “Death of the Hired Hand” poet Robert Frost tells the story of a shiftless farm helper. The one remarkable quality of the man is knowing how to pitch hay. Some hay pitchers defeat themselves by standing on the hay they want to pick up. The farmhand, however, knows better than to get in the way of what he wants to accomplish.

Two characters in the first reading stand on, as it were, the hay they mean to pitch. Both the king of Israel and Naaman, the Syrian general, make themselves obstacles to what they wish to accomplish. They worry about not being able to do something when all that is necessary is that they trust someone else. We want to tell them: “No, king of Israel, you are not a god with power over life and death. Your God, however, has exactly that power. Ask him to heal the leper.” And, “No, Naaman, you cannot be cleansed in the waters of your own land. Do what the prophet of God tells you, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”

Rather than put our trust in God we sometimes worry and fret over challenges confronting us. We also are not gods. Our resources also cannot resolve every problem we face. We too must trust the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He can and will save us. Let us always turn first to Him for help.