Daily Gospel Reflection – Monday, April 1

John 4:43-54
At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.
Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The royal official said to him,
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
“The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
“Your son will live,”
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.

As this passage opens, Jesus is just leaving Samaria where He told the Samaritan woman “everything she had done,” and was returning to Galilee where only a short time before He had performed His first miracle (turning water into wine). In between that time, however, He had returned to His native home – where He was pretty much rejected as “Just Jesus” … Joseph’s son … the carpenter. No one special. Perhaps they had far too much familiarity with Jesus to see beyond His humanity into His divinity. Maybe they were too “complacent” or “self-righteous” to allow Him to teach them or touch their hearts or bring healing into their lives.

The Samaritan woman had just come to know Him and found joy and awe in His presence as she listened to Him. She was open.

The royal official whose son was ill had heard of Jesus’ wonders and who loved his dying son was desperate for help and needed a wonder-worker … needed a savior – came to Him seeking help. “Seeming” indignant (but it seems to me more at all those gathered than to the official himself), Jesus said to him “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But again, making a desperate plea he official doesn’t give up – so Jesus tells him to go and his son will live. Without question the official does as he says … FAITH! As Paul Harvey used to say … and the rest of the story … the son indeed lives and the official AND his whole household come to believe!

I can’t tell you how often I’m asked why those types of miracles don’t occur today. (Which I believe they do.) Why the blind don’t instantly see … the lame don’t instantly walk … the dead don’t instantly rise.
Could it be that like those in Jesus native home we’ve become “complacent” … “self-righteous” … or “non-believing” in those kinds of miracles? Do we not have the type of faith of Mary at the first miracle of just “do what He tells you” and then just know that the wine will be provided? Or like the official, “go and your son will live” and we “leave and trust it will be done.”

Yes, I know this calls for some TALL faith … but is it not the SAME Jesus we serve? Is it not the SAME Jesus that we receive in Holy Communion? Is it not the SAME Jesus we worship in Adoration?

I have been told that there are places in South America that these types of miracles still occur because of the strong faith of the people. That there are Masses that must be held outdoors because there are no churches large enough to hold the thousands of people who gather to celebrate and that their Masses lasts for 2-3 hours.

Maybe we are like the Galileans who need to “see signs and wonders to believe” or maybe we are like Thomas who need to “put our finger into the nail prints in his hands and hands into sides.” Or maybe He want us to have the kind of faith that is believing without seeing.

Each person’s faith life, walk with God, or journey is different. Whichever one He chooses for us seeing or belief without seeing is His design – but either way … it takes OUR response to make it happen. We CANNOT be complacent. We must be an active participant – or we will also see “Just Jesus,” Joseph’s Son … the Carpenter.

By Ms. Darlene Previto, Faculty