DAILY MASS READINGS (March 16, 2020)

MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF LENT (CYCLE A, Violet)

Reading 1 (2 KINGS 5:1-15AB)

A reading from the 2nd Book of Kings

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.
“If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,”
she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
“Go,” said the king of Aram.
“I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
“With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
“Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
“Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel.”

Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.
The prophet sent him the message:
“Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
“I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?”
With this, he turned about in anger and left.

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?
All the more now, since he said to you,
‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel.”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4)

R.    (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R.    Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Verse Before The Gospel (PSALM 130:5, 7)

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

(Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.)

Gospel (LUKE 4:24-30)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Season of Lent invites us to embrace God’s message of salvation, which is not only for his chosen people, but also for all who believe in him. In the First Reading (2 Kings 5:1-15ab), Naaman, commander of the Syrian army, suffers a dreaded skin disease of leprosy. The king of Syria sends a letter to the king of Israel, asking for the cure of the commander’s leprosy. The king tore his robes, but Elisha calmed his anger and told him to write about a prophet in Israel. And so Naaman came to Elisha with his horses. Elisha told him to go into the Jordan River and dip himself seven times. Naaman was angered and refused, but his servants insisted that the message of the prophet is true because he was sent by God. So he went to the Jordan River and washed seven times, until the leprosy had gone away from him. Because of that, he worshipped the Lord with all his heart.In the Gospel (Luke 4:24-30), Jesus reiterates this story by telling his hard-headed and stony-hearted town folks about the salvation of God, which is not only applicable to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles. This is also the same thing that happened in Zarephath, when Elijah asked the widow to make him bread and water after a long journey, and she obeyed. Because of that, God promised to bless her and her son. And as a result, his town folks took him outside and attempted to hurl him down the hill, but he passed through their midst and left because of their lack of faith.My dear brothers and sisters, Naaman the Syrian was at first rejected by the king of Israel, but because of Elijah, help was given. Jesus was rejected by his own kinsmen at Nazareth, but he didn’t argue on why they refused to listen to him. But later on, after Pentecost, the Apostles proclaimed to the people about Christ’s Death and Resurrection. Even Saint Paul preached the message to both the Jews and the Gentiles. As a result, the number of Christians continue to grow from that time on even until now both from the Jews and the Gentiles. So as we journey down this Lenten road, let us embrace God’s salvation and be messengers to the people we encounter everyday through our words and actions.

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