Sunday, October 13, 2013

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

Naaman did not expect to be healed in the waters of the Jordan. If healing were going to take place, it should have occurred in the mountain spring waters of Damascus. Naaman tried to take control of the what, when and how of healing, but it came to him as a surprise; it was unexpected. One could even say it was his doubting that eventually led Naaman to trust in the prophet's words.

The 10 lepers expected, or at the very least hoped, that Jesus would heal them. They cried out for his mercy as so many others before them had done. All 10 were healed. The unexpected happened again. The non-Jew – a Samaritan – was the only one who came back to give thanks and praise. It should have been any or all of the Jews, for they shared the faith and expectation realized in Jesus. But it was the Samaritan who was surprised and had a great moment of faith that transformed him, expressed clearly and with great conviction. The gift not only healed but gave Naaman a new and greater faith.

These are our stories. Are we willing to accept gifts we did not expect? Does God ever leak into our lives by surprise? Do gifts and surprises ever lead us to greater faith and deeper conviction?

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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