3rd Sunday of Advent Year C - 16/12/2012 - Gospel: LK 3: 10-18
The king of Aram believed that, Naaman, his commander of the army was a great man, a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. He heard that the prophet Elisha who lived in Samaria could cure his leprosy. He went to see Elisha and the prophet told him to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River and be cleansed.

Hearing this Naaman went away angry and said, I thought the prophet could have challenged me to do great things, not such a nonsense request. He seemed to be able to tell that the water in Israel was magic and it was of better quality and had the power to cure rather than the water in Damascus. So he turned away and went off in a rage (2 King 5:11) God used his maid servant, not the learned to open his eyes, and said to him, "if the prophet had asked you to do something difficult, you would be glad to do so" but you refused to do a simple thing, that was to wash seven times. Naaman came to his senses and he went and bathed seven times in the Jordan River and he was cured. It had washed away his conceit and he came back praising God.

We love to do something great for God. This is not God's way. It is an ordinary simple act that enlightens our hearts and makes our heavy burden light. Today both the responsorial psalm and prophet Zephaniah call us to do something simple:

Shout for joy and rejoice, exult with all your heart ... dance with shouts of joy as on a day of festival. Give thanks to the Lord and give praise to his name with joy and gladness. Sing a psalm to the Lord, sing and shout for joy.

St Paul to the (Philippians 4: 4) makes it clearer when he says:

I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord.

Be happy in the Lord, not anything else but in the Lord. The way to find happiness is to pray for it and give thanks to God. When you do this you will have peace in your hearts. How does it work? Paul answers that, "it is something which is much greater than we can understand". St John the Baptist told the people to do "simple things".

Don't abuse your power and extortion but be content.

We can't find the Good News in an intimidated heart but in the cheerful ones. Without joy, the praising and prayer to God becomes a burden. It happens when the mind tries to reason the mystery of faith that St Paul said "it is much greater than we can understand". Be aware a mind that tries to tackle the faith will end up in either accepting our limitations and believe or deny the reality of the faith. I think faith that is not mysterious is not worthy of belief. Our God is a mysterious God and his love for us is even more mysterious than we can imagine. Naaman surrendered his superior approach and accepted the mysterious God of Israel and found joy in praising God.