“So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (2 KGS 5: 14)
Simple strategy—“plunge into the Jordan seven times” and “your flesh becomes again like the flesh of a little child,” with one condition—“at the word of the man of God.” It is not water which heals but the “the word of the man of God”—“I trust in His word.”
“I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word; with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ.” (1 COR 10: 4)
Rabbinic tradition amplified this into a spring that followed the Israelites throughout their migration. St. Paul applies this image to the Christ–“the rock was the Christ.” We can receive “the same spiritual food” and “the same spiritual drink” from Our Lord, who follows us and leads us to Heaven.
“Repent, says the Lord; the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance; Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? (MI 7: 18-19)
Clemency or mercy is another name for Our God, “who removes guilt and pardons sin,” “who does not persist in anger,” and who “will again have compassion on us.” Every day we can meet Our Lord in His Word, in the Eucharist and in the Sacraments, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance.
“I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’” (MT 21: 36-37)
Again and again—God is never tired of looking for any occasion to tell us how important we are to Him and how much He loves us. “Finally, he sent his son to us” with the ultimate message—He loves us to the end. Even the end means—to die; “so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.”
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son; so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.”
The “man who trusts in the Lord” is not only blessed, but also is a blessing for society. His neighbors will receive all needed help; his prayers will bring blessings for others, and his “generous heart” will support everybody in distress.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (MT 20: 26-28)
It is natural for us, humans, to dream about greatness, achievements and success. Our Lord reminds us where greatness lies, what should be achieved and how to be a man of success: “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.”
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamations)
“As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.” (MT 23: 8)
The natural consequence of the Our Father prayer is: when we call God “Our Father,” we immediately recognize ourselves as related to each other. Nobody is an only child—we are brothers and sisters; we are siblings—united under God’s love and protection.
“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (MT 16: 16-18)
Our identity is based on Our Lord, “the Son of the living God”—we are God’s children; we are His chosen ones, and we are called to different missions “to build His Church.” The more we recognize Him, the more we understand ourselves.
“You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him.’” (LK 9: 35)
Again and again God’s word reminds us of how important it is to “listen to Him.” Only Our Lord knows God the Father; only Jesus knows God’s love for us, and only He brought us God’s salvation.
“From the shining cloud the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son, hear him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (MT 5: 44-45)
Being “children of our Heavenly Father” comes with privileges, but also with some duties. The most important is to imitate Him which means–to love everybody, including enemies and “those who persecute us.” True love is never a reward.
“Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (Gospel Acclamation)