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Pastor’s Corner 10.9.2022

Oblivious to Blessings?

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

There was once a time when all seemed to be going very well for me – financially, physically, emotionally, etc. Suddenly, things changed and I found myself in a time of real trial.  I was feeling overwhelmed and deeply troubled.  I remember thinking: “God, why are you doing this to me?”  (Although, at that stage in my life I rarely even thought of God; much less prayed to Him.)  I had hit a bottom, of sorts, and thought God was punishing me.  I was convinced I was in the worst days of my life.

However, months later, after enduring the time of hardship, I realized that God had, in fact, given me a great gift.  You see, I had been trying to manage everything myself; trying to be in control and be responsible for all the outcomes.  When the trials came and completely overwhelmed me, I had no choice but to turn it over to God.  In that act of surrender, God blessed me in great abundance.  God used the time of trial to call me back into relationship with Him.  I realized that I couldn’t be what I was created to be if I relied on my own efforts alone.  I needed God to be at the center of my life.  In the midst of the trial, I was being immensely blessed and was, at the time, oblivious to it.  What I thought was the worst day of my life turned out to be one of the best days.

The first reading today introduces us to Naaman, a Syrian army commander – a man of great power and influence.  When he came down with leprosy, he sought the help of Elisha, a prophet to Israel.  Elisha told Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed.  Naaman was angry because he expected some more theatrical kind of remedy.  He expected Elisha to put on some dramatic show of healing, some elaborate prayer or blessing – or something.  But at the prompting of his servant, Naaman reluctantly performed the simple gesture.  And he was healed!

In the Gospel, ten lepers called out to Jesus for pity.  He told them to go and show themselves to the priest.  Only one recognized that he was healed and came back to thank Jesus.

Do you recognize how God is blessing and healing you?  Sometimes his blessings might not look like blessings at first; sometimes they happen in such simple and everyday ways that we don’t even recognize His hand at work.  Has God worked in dramatic or miraculous ways in your life – only to have you be oblivious to His blessing until months or years later? 

If and when we recognize how God has healed or blessed us, the appropriate response is to imitate Naaman the Syrian or the grateful leper from the Gospel.  When we finally recognize how God has blessed us, we must give thanks.

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life,