Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

(II Kings 5:1-15ab; Luke 4:24-30)

In “Death of the Hired Hand” poet Robert Frost tells the story of a shiftless, old farmhand.  The character is an almost complete failure, but he has one remarkable quality – he knows how to pitch hay.  The poet explains how some people defeat their purpose by standing on the hay they mean to pitch.  The old farmhand, however, knows better.

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 in God.  One wants to shout at the first: “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 to the general: “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 often fret over challenges confronting us.  We too need to be reminded that we are not gods, that our resources cannot resolve every problem.  We too must trust the God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He can and will save us when we turn first to Him for help.