Week 3: Monday

Saint Ephrem the Syrian
“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.” (2 Kings 5:1.)

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

“Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram.” Some rely on these words to say that he was the one who had killed Ahab by striking him with an arrow shot by his own hand, when there was war between [Israel] and Aram. This favor was granted him by the Lord as a reward for killing the persecutor of the prophets and for enfeebling the power of Jezebel, [Ahab’s] wife, and for restraining her cruelty. And thanks to him the disciples of Elijah had relief too, those whom the fear of Ahab and Jezebel had forced to flee into the desert and take refuge in some caves. And they had returned to their abodes, as the Scripture mentions below. But all these theories are groundless, except for what they say about the persecution of the prophets, which is undoubtedly correct. It is true, nevertheless, what Obadiah says to Elijah: “Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred of the Lord’s prophets fifty to a cave and provided them with bread and water?” (On the Second Book of Kings, 5.)

May Your unfailing compassion, O Lord,
cleanse and protect Your Church,
and, since without You she cannot stand secure,
may she be always governed by Your grace.
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 the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen