All that we see, all that we touch,
all that we hear;
it is all a miracle.
Day Seventeen of Lent: Monday of the Third Week of Lent – 2 Kings 5
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?” – 2 Kg 5:13
Today’s Lenten Reflection
In today’s reading, Naaman goes to be healed of his leprosy expecting a cure of biblical proportions. But instead, he is told to go down to a familiar river with the same old water as usual and “wash off.” Most of us would have a similar reaction: Ugh, been there done that. Why even bother? Thankfully his servants talk some sense into him, reminding him that just because the prescription is simple doesn’t mean it is not worthwhile.
We see similar reactions to Jesus Christ in the Gospel. The townsfolk cannot accept what Jesus tells them because … 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. In the process of waiting for something “great” to happen we miss out on so many “ordinary” and little mysterious miracles. It should not surprise us that God works His wonders most often through what the world would deem as ordinary and simple people and things. After all, God Himself entered into this world in a most ordinary way; born of an impoverished young woman in a dingy manger among farm animals. Certainly the extraordinary doesn’t get more ordinary than that.
Day 17 Lenten Meditation
Take special notice of the “ordinary” things surrounding you today. Maybe it is the ordinary sunrise or an ordinary bird flying overhead. But the truth is, it is actually all extraordinary. Every day, every happening and every experience is a gift from God. Not only that, God is present in all of these “ordinary” happenings. And the realization of this truth will change your life.
What we need to do is quiet our lives a bit and stop to consider all the wonders of God working around us. After that, we must give thanks to Him 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 ordinary miracles today. They are everywhere. Take none of it for granted and praise God.
God of both the ordinary and the extraordinary, give us eyes to see the miracles around us and the faith to believe that 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. We pray this all in Your good and holy Name, amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Spend ten minutes looking at everything around you with new eyes; with eyes that remind you that all you see is indeed a miracle. Then thank God for all you have been given.
“Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love” –St. Francis of Assisi.