Carmelite Homilies are recorded by Fr. Gregory Houck, O, Carm., following the Cycle of Readings of the Common Lectionary. His preacher’s blog is found at: fathergreg.com
In the Second Book of Kings we have Elisha – he’s the prophet living on Mount Carmel, successor of the Prophet Elijah – and Naaman, a Syrian commander, comes to be cured of leprosy. And so Elisha says, ‘Go wash yourself in the Jordan River.’ And Naaman is all upset, ‘I could’ve done this at home; I expected to do something big.’ But his servants so, ‘no, do it’ and he’s cured of his leprosy. Something small. And in today’s Gospel a leper comes to Jesus and says, ‘if you want to you can heal me.’ And Jesus says, ‘I do want it; stretch out your hand.’ And the guy does and he’s healed. It’s a small thing. It’s a big thing – leprosy – but the cures are small: just do what you’re told. John of the Cross writes, “What does it profit to give God one thing if he asks you for another. Consider what God wants and do it.” I think that’s the lesson of today’s Gospel: not to to the big thing, or the small thing, or your own thing. Consider what God wants you to do and do that. You’ll be cured.