Do you believe that God wants to act with power in your life today? The power to set you free from sin and hurtful desires, fear and oppression. Throughout the Scriptures we see God performing mighty acts to save his people from death and destruction - from Noah's ark that spared his family from the flood to Moses and the Israelites who crossed through the parting waters of the Red Sea as they fled the armies of Pharaoh.
Throughout the Gospel accounts Jesus praised individuals who put their faith in God as they remembered the great and wonderful deeds he had performed time and time again. Jesus even praised outsiders - non-Jews and pagans from other lands who had heard about the mighty deeds of the God of Israel. One example Jesus mentioned was Naaman the pagan army commander from Syria who was afflicted with leprosy. Naaman's slave-girl was a young Jewish woman who had faith in God and compassion for Naaman her master. She urged him to seek healing from Elisha, the great prophet of Israel. When Naaman went to the land of Israel to seek a cure for his leprosy, the prophet Elisha instructed him to bathe seven times in the Jordan river. Namaan was indignant at first, but then repented and followed the prophet's instructions. In doing so he was immediately restored in body and spirit.
What is the significance of Naaman's healing for us? Naaman's miraculous healing at the River Jordan, prefigures the mystery of the healing which is freely granted to all nations of the earth by our Lord Jesus through the regenerating waters of baptism and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told Nicodemus, "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). The Lord Jesus wants to renew in each one of us the gift of faith and the regenerating power of baptism and the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) which cleanses us of the leprosy of sin and makes us "newborn" sons and daughters of God.
We all stand in need of God's grace and merciful help every day and every moment of our lives. Scripture tells us that "the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23). God gives grace to the humble who seek him with expectant faith and with a repentant heart that wants to be made whole and clean again.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST - Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on the weekend of February 6 and 7 in the parish hall.