(Thoughts on today's Old Testament Reading)
It’s every mother’s worst nightmare. Your child is abducted. It doesn’t matter that the abduction took place centuries ago or that the little girl was from ancient Israel. She was someone’s daughter, and she was taken from her homeland when the Arameans led a raid on Israel.
What strikes me as incredible, though, is what happens next. As a slave in the house of Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram, the little girl has the ear of the master and his wife. When Naaman contracts leprosy, the little girl finds the courage to speak to her mistress about it.
“If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria, he would cure him of his leprosy.” We know this prophet. His name is Elisha, successor to Elijah. He is the one who asked for a double portion of the Spirit of the Living God – and got it.
Now, isn’t it incredible that this little girl remembered her faith at all, that her memory of the prophet of the Lord was so strong that she was able to pass the message along to her mistress, and that she even had the courage to speak, though she was a servant girl?
Even more amazing, Naaman took her advice, and with the king’s approval, he went to Israel and found Elisha. Naaman was healed, and the story has been captured for all time in Holy Scripture.
The net result of the child’s faithfulness is that the message and reality of God’s power spread throughout the land and throughout time.
Here’s the thing. We are that little girl. In a very real way, we are living in a foreign land. When it matters most, do we speak up and tell those in positions of power that there is one who can heal them? Do we even remember the faith at all, or have we forgotten to carry it with us as we labor in a foreign land. Do we consider ourselves unimportant in the presence of leaders and those with more money and prestige? Are we afraid to speak up? Or would we be willing to share the Good News as courageously as this little girl?
Our Mother, the Blessed Mother (and the archetype of Mother Church), has guided us and prepared us for every encounter we may have as we journey to our final homeland. While she longs for us to come safely into the arms of the Heavenly Father, she also instills in us the needs of those we meet along the way. She longs for them to encounter for themselves the Spirit of the Living God. And she knows that you may be the only mouthpiece God has to get their attention.
If a little girl, a slave in a foreign land, can share the good news of God without restraint, then so should we who have access to the Mother of Perpetual Help and the Lord Most High.