Liturgical readings are available here.
Very few people from the Old Testament receive endorsement by Jesus and Naaman the Syrian is one of them. Jesus mentions him in the gospel of today: there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.
The story about Naaman from the Second book of Kings describes a prideful, almost arrogant person. He believes to be important, although everything else around him proves how unimportant he really is.
- He is the army commander of the powerful king of Aram and yet it was the LORD who brought victory to Aram through him.
- A powerful man on top of the social pyramid needs assistance of a little unnamed girl, the servant of Naaman’s wife, to meet with Elisha and eventually be healed.
- Once he has an opportunity to be healed, it is his pride that prevents him: I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand there to call on the name of the LORD his God, and would move his hand over the place, and thus cure the leprous spot.
The biggest problem of Naaman is not his sickness, but rather his pride. Thus, the solution for him is humility. Once he goes down and plunges into the Jordan as instructed, he is healed.
While we strive for keeping our bodies healthy, we are challenged to give up our pride: as nation, Church, parish, community, individuals… Descending from the horse of our pride and going all the way down to the River Jordan becomes the symbol of repentance proclaimed by John. Our greatness can only be constructed upon forgiveness granted by the Lord.