They stopped at a distance and shouted at him. The distance and the scream, they go together. Though this distance was created by the social barriers and customs, the courage to come out in an open place and cry does merit certain courage and risk. The social systems narrates to us that the distance is because of their infirmity and Jesus came to destroy this distance that separates us from the Lord and to heal all kinds of human infirmities.
If they shouted, then we can imagine that this cry is a fruit of knowledge. It all starts with a recognition of one's own infirmity. This self-knowledge helps us to find a solution, a cure. Many of us don’t cry, because we don’t know that we are sick and even if we know, we are not able to identify the source of our pains and sufferings. Jesus has said to us that those who seeks, will find.
The seeking does demand from us to identify the person who is able to heal us. Their ability to recognize the presence of the Lord, the Saviour of the world, who is able to heal them, made them to come out with courage and cried out to the Lord. This screaming is a culmination of a process towards faith. I recognize the greatness of the Lord, his kindness and generosity. At the same time in front of this grandeur and majesty, I recognize my littleness and I cry for help.
Listening to this cry, Jesus stops and speaks. Very surprising, He invokes nothing, but with one commandment, "Go and show to the priests”, he heals them. Since there was already a spiritual process that guided these lepers to the Lord, they were able to understand the instructions received and to make a new path to the world, a new world. God does not act like us or as we would like. To better understand the divine works, one must learn to look at everything with a divine eye. Syrian General Naaman learned to listen and obey the word of the prophet Elisha.
Naaman will undertake once again a pilgrimage, now all purified, not for him, but for the Lord. The first journey towards the prophet was a purely carnal step, demanding a physical cure. The news is purely spiritual, a pilgrimage to have a personal encounter with the man of God, filled with gratitude. It is here Naaman regained his health, the health of the man. A new man, a man in God is born in this new spiritual journey. We are all called to make this spiritual journey, a pilgrimage towards God, to the Saviour of the world. It is because of this very nature that we are called as a pilgrim people.
This pilgrim journey of faith is a gift from God. We can never go to the Lord, if God does not invite us. If we are here, it's because God wanted it. We are here to be sent by the Lord to this world that needs our service and our presence. For this, we kill all that prevents in us from going to the Lord and pray to the Lord to bring in us this new man, a resurrected man.
Let us give thanks to the Lord for his wonders. May our life be a thanksgiving, for He is good and eternal. Naaman and this leper were not only healed, but also saved. Let us never forget the word that St. Paul addressed to Timothy. If we lack faith, He remains faithful to His Word, because He can not reject Himself. Let us never be discouraged to fall back in to the hands of divine mercy.
In this missionary month and also the month of the Rosary, we turn to the Virgin Mary. In the Magnificat, she gives thanks to the Lord not only for what He did in her, but also for the divine action in the history of salvation. In celebrating this Eucharist, we join in this thanksgiving of Mary and we ask her to help us to remain faithful to the mission entrusted to us. Amen.