Voices ever ancient, ever new. Sunday-Week28-2013.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian
“So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean (II Kings 5:14).”

Saint Ephrem the Syrian offers the following insight on these verses from today’s First Reading:

“After Naaman had been persuaded by the prophet and had washed seven times in the Jordan, he eventually acknowledged his error. He was astonished, and a deep bewilderment took him when he realized that he had been delivered from his filthiness. And he thanked God for his healing and testified that the Lord of the universe, in his profound care for him, had conceded him that extraordinary power by simply using water. He also proclaimed that his healing could not have derived from the water of the river but had been caused by Elisha’s command. That is why he offered royal presents, but the prophet did not accept them and was not persuaded by the donor, even though he had pressed him many times. For that magnificently and very clearly prefigured the mystery of the healing, which is freely granted to all nations of the earth by our Lord through the intercession of the apostles. And this had been promised in advance to those masters by the prophet Isaiah, when he said, “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” Since all diseases are a sort of bondage, the prophet necessarily fixed the healing at the seventh bath, in parallel with the fact that the Law, too, orders and promises freedom for the slave at the seventh year (On the Second Book of Kings, 5).”

May your grace, O Lord, we pray,
at all times go before us
and follow after and make us
always determined to carry out good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!