16 March, 2020

One great idea of the biblical revelation is that God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now…

~ Richard Rohr ~

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

Namaan, somehow, wanted or felt he needed a dramatic and direct intervention by the prophet and finds only a messenger with a simple instruction to do something eminently doable.

 

If we seek to find God in all things, then it is also about noticing the everyday things we need to do to find healing and wholeness. What if God is inviting you to healing through something that is part of your everyday experience? Maybe it isn’t about  long hours of prayer, but just the faithfulness to five minutes each morning.

 

It is true that there are times when things really are very serious. Some people struggle for years with physical or emotional illness and despite trying everything they can think of – both the simple things and the more dramatic things – they are not healed. There are no easy answers for that kind of suffering. We can only come to accept and know God is with us in it. But, in the other situations in our lives, perhaps there is some healing we need and are being offered that actually only needs our yes to something very simple.

 

The Gospel today reminds us that even Jesus was not accepted as a prophet by those he grew up with. To the people of Nazareth he was someone so ordinary, a carpenter, perhaps a teacher in the synagogue. They cannot see him as a prophet, (let alone the messiah). He doesn’t fit with their idea of a prophet. But Jesus knows who he is. He does not need the affirmation of others but he challenges the fact that they do not recognise him and his call. Sometimes we dismiss people who can offer us healing or teach us something, because they are not people we expect to be able to offer us anything. God can speak to us through someone in our family or someone who is uneducated or from a different faith – sometimes in ways that are challenging or uncomfortable. Perhaps even through someone who does not know God. God speaks to us in places and through people we may not expect.

 

Gracious God,

 

Open us to find healing in and through the simple and the ordinary.

 

May we not miss the voices of the prophets in our own lives, speaking your word to us.

 

Amen.

 

Catholic Parliamentary

Liaison Office

Jesuit Institute
South Africa

This reflection has been adapted from Have Mercy, O Lord! Daily Reflections for Lent by Grant Tungay SJ, Russell Pollitt SJ, Annemarie Paulin-Campbell, Puleng Matsaneng, Anthony Egan SJ and Frances Correia, & published by the Jesuit Institute South Africa in 2016.

Reflection prepared by

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ

Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ entered the Society of Jesus in 2005 and underwent the usual course of studies in his formation, which took him to such varied places as Canada, France, Ireland, Kenya, Spain, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Matthew manages the background technical aspects of much of the Institute's work and is involved in the Spirituality work whilst completing the Advanced Spiritual Directors Training Course and Spiritual Exercises Training run by the Institute. He is a member of Spiritual Directors International and is also a part-time lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Augustine College of South Africa.

m.charlesworth@jesuitinstitute.org.za @mcharlesworth
See more from Matthew Charlesworth SJ

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