Father David's Reflection for Third Monday of Lent
The Responsorial Psalm teaches us to listen to our heart and follow it: "Athirst is my soul for the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?" (Psalms 42-43).
Kings 5:1-15 shows us a common reason why we don't make progress in the spiritual life: we won't do the small, easy things because we think they won't have any effect. So we do nothing.
Naaman was willing to invest a huge amount of time and money to be cured of his leprosy. But all the prophet told him was to go bathe seven times in the river Jordan. He expected some big ceremony, and was going away angry when his servants said, "If the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now. you should do as he said." So he did and was healed.
Is there something in your soul that is athirst for the living God? Do you wish at times to be a disciple of Jesus, to sit at his feet and learn what he is really like, what he thinks and desires, how you can be like him? Does this seem out of your reach, something you would have to invest so much time and energy in that you could not do anything else? So are you just doing nothing about it?
Suppose you began small. Get a copy of the Bible, a cheap one you are not afraid to write in and underline. Don't put it on a table; put it on your pillow, so you cannot go to sleep without picking it up. And tell God you will read one line every night before you go to bed.
Does this sound too difficult? Are you thinking, "What good will that do? It is too insignificant!"?
Why not try it? Experience shows that most nights you will read two or three lines (but if you only read one you have kept your commitment. Go to sleep satisfied!). And if you do, your whole life will begin to change. You will have begun to be a disciple.
In Luke 4: 24-30 the people wouldn't even listen to Jesus. Why? Was it jealousy toward a hometown boy? Did they feel threatened? Did they just resent the idea they needed to change anything in their lives? They may not have known why themselves.
If you feel resistance against beginning something as simple as reading a line of the Bible every night, ask yourself why. Are you afraid? Angry? Apathetic? Look for the cause. But finally ask yourself: "When shall I go and behold the face of God?"
Initiative: Be a disciple. Do something, no matter how small, to take a first (or further) step into discipleship. For starters, put the Bible on your pillow!