Every day people begin extreme diets because they simply can’t believe that losing weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than they consume. Exotic dietary supplements and steroids in sports fuel the belief in a magic formula to ensure victory when hard work and training isn’t enough. Ads for new pharmaceuticals herald the next cure for whatever disease is holding us back. We overlook the simple, everyday ways to better health and wellbeing because they don’t make any remarkable claims to instant results. Our technology and communication methods might be twenty-first century, but the impulse to seek a spectacular, magic solution to the common plight of humanity is as old as our Scripture readings today. In the Book of Kings Naaman seeks healing, but he’s also hoping for a great spectacle from the famed man of God. The people in Jesus’s hometown are hoping that he will wow them with the wonders they’ve heard he performed in other towns. But he disappoints their expectations and they fail to see the wonder that he is. The virtue of humility reminds us that the ordinary and the everyday is often where God’s gifts shine most brightly. The quiet person we overlook in a meeting might have the solution to a vexing work issue. The chicken soup your grandma made when you had a cold really does have healing properties. The friend who listens patiently while you work out a difficult time in a relationship isn’t giving you advice about a quick fix, but the solution you discover in the process has long-lasting effects.
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek