All that we see, all that we touch,
all that we hear;
it is all a miracle.
Day 20: Monday of the Third Week of Lent – 2 Kings 5:13
But his servants came up and reasoned with him. “My father,” they said, “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it?”
Today’s Lenten Reflection
In today’s reading, Naaman goes to be healed of his leprosy, expecting a cure of, well, biblical proportions. But instead, he is told to go down to the same old river with the same old water and simply “wash off.” Most of us would have a similar reaction: Oh forget it. Been there, done that. Why bother? It takes his servants to talk some sense into him, reminding him that just because the prescription is simple doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. We see similar reactions to Jesus in the Gospel. The townsfolk cannot accept what Jesus tells them because, well … isn’t he just a carpenter’s son? Let’s be honest, the simple and ordinary doesn’t usually satisfy us. We think we need (or deserve) something extraordinary, and in the process of waiting for that to happen we miss out on so much greatness, so many miracles. It should not surprise us that God works wonders through “ordinary, simple people and ordinary, simple things.” After all, God Himself entered into this world in a most ordinary way — born in a dingy manger among farm animals to an impoverished young woman and her new husband. The extraordinary doesn’t get more ordinary than that.
Day 20 Lenten Meditation
Take special notice of the “ordinary” things surrounding you today — in your world and in your life. Maybe it’s the ordinary sunrise or an ordinary bird flying overhead. An ordinary friend calling to chat or an ordinary coworker offering to grab you a cup of coffee. It’s all extraordinary, really. The truth is, God is present in all of those happenings, and this realization will change our perspective and our lives for the better. We simply need to stop and consider it, giving thanks for all of it. A friend and monk of the great theologian Thomas Merton once said, “The real miracle is for [us] to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All of it is a miracle.” Look around and find your miracles today. Take none of it for granted.
God of both the ordinary and the extraordinary, give us eyes to see the miracles around us and the faith to believe You are present even in the most mundane moments of our lives. Cure our cynicism with the healing waters of your unconditional love. All-present Father, let us embrace You fully in each and every moment that we are given. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
*Spend ten minutes looking at everything around you with new eyes today. With eyes that remind you that all you see is a miracle. Then, thank God for all you’ve been given.
“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love” –St. Francis of Assisi.