Monday of the Third Week of Lent
(II Kings 5:1-15ab; Luke 4:24-30)
The man told the superior of a religious community that he would give him $100 to have a private mass said for his family on Christmas Day. It was a time when $100 would be like $500 today. The priest wondered if he was being bribed to give a special privilege. He rejected the offer. The man should take his family to the community mass on the holyday with the rest of the people. A similar offer is implied in today’s first reading.
Naaman takes a fortune with him when he visits Elisha. Evidently he thinks that he can buy a favor from the prophet. He does not realize what kind of God Elisha serves. He does not know that God wants justice not gifts. Naaman cannot fathom that God’s prophets as well are not to be impressed by wealth. However, he comes to know by his cure that the God of Israel is greater than all others gods. He learns that God only desires submission to his gracious will.
We too must take care not to place exaggerated importance on money. We certainly need it to live in modern society. Also, we can use it to serve others. But in the end, we too will realize that money fails to bring the happiness it promises. Always more beneficial is a heart determined to love God above all and others as His children.