5 March, 2018: Open up to God

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Monday of the Third Week of Lent
Reading: 2 Kgs. 5. 1-15; Gospel: Lk.4. 24-30
Today Jesus tells us that no prophet is accepted in his hometown. This seems to be the theme for the readings of the day. Even in the first reading, Elisha needs to remind that king that there is a prophet in Israel.
I have always kept wondering why this happens. The prophets, including Jesus, were holy men of God. Most often, these prophets performed signs, wonders and miracles to establish their authenticity. Their life also bore witness to their legitimacy. Yet all that they received was rejection, humiliation, persecution and martyrdom. How could that happen?
The reason that I find is that people get into a frame of mind and they want God to fit into that frame and work according to their expectations, whims and fancies. A clear example can be seen in Naaman. Despite having travelled so far, when asked to wash seven times in the Jordan, he was unwilling – not because it was difficult but because he was expecting to be cured in another way (2 Kings 5:11). Anything else other than that, however simple, became unacceptable.
I see the same scenario even in our times. During my time of ministry, one of my most repeated advice to people has been this: ‘open your mind and allow God to work’. Sometimes we can get so obsessed with our understanding and expectations, that we either become blind (like Naaman) to God’s blessings or get wild (like the people of Nazareth) at the ways of God. These things make us hard-heartened and stiff-necked – something that God despised. But all the while we would be thinking that we are devout, pious, etc. like the people of Nazareth who did not hesitate even to try and assassinate Jesus (Lk 4:29).
In this regard, Mother Mary could be a wonderful example for us. She never knew how God would fulfill His promises. From the time she said ‘yes’ to God, life became challenging. Humiliation and painful death stared at her, later safeguarding her son would prove impossible. Standing at the foot of the Cross, it would have been difficult for her to understand God’s ways. Yet she stood firm on the rock of faith and allowed God to work in His own way. The result was our salvation.
Will you open up to God today?

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