Mercy in the Everyday

There’s a certain Old Testament story proclaimed at daily Mass ‘round this time of year that hits me like a ton of grace whenever I choose to really hear it. It’s the story of Namaan, found in chapter 5 of the second book of Kings.  (Go ahead and read it again; I’ll wait…)

Now imagine the scene with me.  Namaan is a highly respected army leader.  He’s manly, charismatic, and brave. He carries himself like a commander who has known victory, but he has a big problem: there’s something eating away at him.

At the advice of a humble one, he sets out on a path of healing.  The path is not straightforward, but it is effective. And when he arrives at the very point of a certain cure, he balks — not because the task set before him is too hard, but because it’s too ordinary.  He was expecting to participate in something extraordinary, something glamorous and dramatic – and would have, gladly!  But the simplicity seems beneath him.  Fortunately, another lowly one is able to point out the foolishness of his reluctance, and Namaan finally does allow himself to surrender and be set free.

So let us think: what simple, profound moments can we provide for others to give them healing, mercy, wholeness, freedom? In what relatively ordinary acts can we participate to find those same gifts?

There are many good answers, including the sacraments, but another one I keep hearing is this: dinners with the family.

Tonight, we’re doing fajitas.  How about you?

Your Pickle,
Marian Bart
Parish Catechetical Leader