Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday of 3rd Week

“If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not do it?” Naaman, sent to Elisha to be cured of his leprosy, expects ceremony and incantations; a dramatic cure, befitting his rank. Instead he is given a simple errand, and in deliberately insulting fashion: nothing fit for the commander of an army. The villagers of Nazareth see just another of them, someone they watched grow from a toddler. Someone they think they know inside out. Nobody special, nobody to listen to any more than the next person to wander by.

It's not that God never asks the extraordinary of us – and it's not that we can never answer that challenge. But it's not an effort most of us can undertake, every day, for a lifetime. Worldly power has nothing to do with it; our pride and self-importance has nothing to do with it. Our desire for the extraordinary has nothing to do with it. Most of what God asks from us will be small things: Friday fasts instead of forty straight days. Forgiving from the heart rather than forgiving from a cross. “Small things with extraordinary love.” It's on the basis of those that we will be given the larger tasks, if and when they come.

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