Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Naaman said: “…I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord.” (2 Kings 5)

It was Naaman’s positive experience with the prophet Elisha that led to his “conversion” to the God of Israel. First, Elisha had to talk Naaman into doing what seemed like a silly thing: plunging seven times into the Jordan River. Elisha must have had some kind of positive connection or rapport with him to get him to do it. Once Naaman trusted Elisha enough, he decided to humble himself and obey, and he was blessed with a healing. This led to his conversion to the God of Israel.

We all have opportunities every day to influence others in a positive way. Our words and actions convey our beliefs, either in the God of love and mercy, or in some other “god”. We should always be aware how we influence others, both those who are already believers in our God, Jesus Christ, as well as those who are not. Whether directly or indirectly, we should always point people to Jesus Christ: the God of truth and love. If we treat people with dignity and respect, with love and mercy, we will point them to Christ. But we should also not be ashamed or afraid to tell them directly about Christ, when given the opportunity. Sometimes our direction may seem silly or irrational to them, but that’s where each person has to make the choice to humble themselves and do what is asked of them. If them do, they, too will find healing and salvation. This is how we can be prophets like Elisha.