April 1, 2020
  • 9:59 am Persamaan Islam, Yahudi, dan Kristen
  • 9:58 am Faith Training | Jesus Is Healer | Episode 40 | Christian Bible Study Devotional Video
  • 9:58 am Being a people of faith
  • 8:59 am Faith & Co. | Could You Tell Your Children? (Don Flow)
  • 8:58 am Hope Faith Ministries helping homeless during pandemic
God Uses Ordinary Instruments To Heal Us – Homily by Archbishop William Goh (16 Mar 2020)

We all want to be treated with
privileges, especially for those of us who are rich and powerful and have
status in life. We want favours. We feel that we should be accorded special
privilege because we have a higher rank in society than others. This is also true
even in the Christian community. There are some of us who want to be treated
differently, better than others and get special favours from the Church. But my
dear brothers and sisters, today the scripture reading tells us, that in
God’s eyes, everyone is equal. In God’s eyes, everyone is the same.
He loves us all. And that is the reason why many of us, unfortunately, we forget
that. We are like Naaman, the army commander. He was a great commander.
He was powerful. He expected Elisha to treat him
differently. He thought he will be given special
favours and privileges, that Elisha would attend to him personally. And he thought
because simply he has money. And we are told indeed, he brought ten talents of
silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten festal robes, thinking that he
could buy his health. Even the king of Israel recognised this, “Am I God who gives death and life?” My dear brothers and sisters, in the face of death,
whether you are rich, whether you are poor, whether you are powerful or an
ordinary person, when death comes, no one can escape.
Ultimately, our life is in the hands of God. And so it’s important for us
therefore to realise this. No one is privileged in the eyes of God.
if there is any privileged, it is all that are privileged. And it’s the same
thing too, in today’s Gospel when Jesus came back to his hometown, the people
expected Jesus to treat them differently. My dear brothers and sisters, today the
scripture reading tells us, God loves ordinary people. He uses
ordinary things. He used a servant to reach out to Naaman, to offer him a
possibility to be cured. God did not make use of great people. Ordinary people,
sometimes they are the ones who can help us. They might be despised in
society and yet God uses them. Again as I have said, unfortunately the people of
Israel did not understand. When Jesus came back to his hometown, they said, “We
knew Jesus. He was just a carpenter’s son. Where did he get all his knowledge from?”
They couldn’t believe that Jesus could be the Messiah. Not only God uses
ordinary persons to transmit His grace, He uses ordinary things. Today Elisha
told Naaman to “Just go and bathe in the river Jordan seven times and your flesh
will be clean once more.” And he was furious. He was insulted, “Why the waters
of Jordan? There are so many better rivers.” You see the pride, the arrogance.
And this is very true. Again the same situation in today’s Gospel. Jesus was
rejected because He was too ordinary. My dear brothers and sisters, if we are
too proud, we are too arrogant, we cannot find healing in life. We can never
receive His grace. In order to find healing and restoration, we need to learn
humility. And Naaman, he learned humility because of Elisha. Elisha
refused even to meet him. He was hot tempered. He went off. And later on, he
knew that without him, he could not be healed. So humility is the gateway to
trust. We cannot have faith in God without humility. That’s why
the world has no faith in God. Why? Because the word thinks that they are the most
intelligent. They have all the solutions. They don’t need God. We have ourselves. We
have technology. That’s the whole problem. They don’t realise that even technology
comes from God. Without that simple faith and trust, we cannot be wholesome.
And this is so true. Only in faith then we can realise
that God uses ordinary means to heal us. That’s why in the Church, we have
sacramentals. We use blessed oil, water, bread, wine to mediate the grace of God. Some
people say, “Why must we bless wine, bless oil?” You ask Jesus. Don’t ask me.
That was how the Apostles use these means to heal people. And they were healed. If you
don’t want to be healed, it’s alright. No need to come for the oil, no need to come for the
blessed water, no need to take bread and wine. You just go for your own
healing. But if you want to really allow yourselves in humility to use
ordinary things that the Lord has given to us for our healing,
then you come. That is why water can cleanse the soul of a person. People say,
“Why when we are baptised, the water can cleanse us?” Again, you ask Jesus. He was
baptised at the River Jordan. He wants to choose water as a means of cleansing.
And so we are cleansed and are filled with the Spirit. Without faith, nothing
will work. Without faith, we can receive the Eucharist many times – there are many
Catholics, actually they receive the Eucharist without faith. That is why no changes in
their lives. You must have faith. You can receive the Sacrament of Baptism. But without
faith, actually the sacrament is invalid. The greater the faith, the greater the
effect of the sacrament, including the sacramentals. So today, let us pray that we
grow in faith. But our faith is weak. That’s why we need to encourage one
another. So beautiful, in today’s first reading, we have the servants. When Naaman was arrogant, he didn’t want to go to seek healing from Elisha, they said, “Come
on, what’s so big deal? What’s the problem? Just go and you will be healed.” And he thought
it over, no choice, better go. So we need to encourage one another. We need to help
each other. And this is where the Christian community is very important. We
need to support each other in faith. Because without the support of one
another, we become weak. Even now if we cannot
gather as a community to pray, we still can continue to share our faith with one
another, maybe through online, through social media. Whatever it is, we need to
encourage one another to grow in faith.

Jean Kelley