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 Kings 5:13
Today’s Lenten Reflection
In today’s reading, Naaman goes to be healed of his leprosy expecting a cure of biblical proportions. Instead, he is told to go down to a familiar river with the same old water and “wash off.” Most of us would have a similar reaction: Ugh, been there done that. Why even bother? His servants thankfully talk some sense into him, reminding him that just because the marching orders seem ordinary doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile.
We find similar reactions to Jesus Christ in the Gospel. His townsfolk cannot accept what He is preaching because … well, isn’t He just a carpenter’s son? Let’s be honest, the simple and commonplace doesn’t usually capture our attention. For whatever reason, we believe we need the extraordinary for it to really matter. But in the process of waiting for something great to happen we end up missing the many ordinary yet incredible miracles happening all around us.
Food for thought
If we are familiar with the Bible, it should not surprise us that God works most of His wonders through what we deem ordinary. Ordinary people, ordinary places, ordinary things. God Himself came down from Heaven by entering the world in the most ordinary way – born of an impoverished young woman in a dingy manger surrounded by simple farm animals. Certainly the extraordinary doesn’t get more ordinary than that!
Take special notice today of the ordinary things happening all around you. Maybe it’s the everyday sunrise or common bird flying overhead. Perhaps it is the simple sounds of nature or cool breeze rushing by. The truth is, every moment of every day is extraordinary. Life is a miracle, a gift from God, and He is present in every one of these occurrences.
Day 17 Lenten Meditation
Make it a point to quiet your life a bit and take notice of the wonders of God. As you do reflect upon this quote from a monk and friend of the great theologian Thomas Merton: “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.” Indeed! Ordinary miracles are literally everywhere and they’re a precious gift to you from the Creator of the universe.
God of both the ordinary and extraordinary, give us eyes to see the many miracles that surround us. We ask also for the faith to believe that You are present in even the most mundane moments of our lives. Cure our cynicism with the beauty of Your creation and healing waters of Your unconditional love. We ask You, Father, to give us the grace to embrace You fully in each and every moment of our seemingly ordinary lives. We pray this in Your good and holy Name. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Spend at least ten minutes looking at everything around you with new eyes; eyes that see everything as a miracle of God. 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.