Archive for March 6th, 2023

John 4:43-54: Coming to Believe


James Tissot: The Healing of the Officer’s Son

Monday, March 6, 2023

John tells us unequivocally . . . they welcomed him, but only because they were impressed with what he had done in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, not that they really had a clue about who he was or what he was up to. Today we pause to consider if this thinking mirrors our own. Do we follow Jesus blindly because of what he can do for us? Or do we follow him because of who he is, what he embodies, and who we hope to become?

God says: The miracles I shower on the world are not meant to lure you into loving me. They come from my genuine desire to be one with you. The signs I leave along your pilgrim way are not meant to convince you of my presence. They are the physical reality of my faith in you. My actions in your life are not meant to dazzle you. They are the hands of hope that I offer you. You are free to come with me and follow My Way. You are free to follow the way you see that another lays out for you or the way you prepare for yourself; but unless you follow me you will not revel in the goodness, the comfort and joy that I have in mind for you. I have promised this to you from your inception and I will continue to offer it until you expire. I am always and everywhere. I am. And I offer this wholeness to you. It is my hope for you that you come to believe in my deep and abiding love for you.  

The impact of the healing of the official’s son is so enormous that it brings the entire family to conversion. Do we need such enormous signs? Do we need such convincing? Or do we need God . . . and nothing more?

When we believe that we do not see God’s presence often in our lives, let us ask God for the gifts of strength and persistence as we, like the centurion and his family, come to believe. Today we remember this week’s Lenten practice. Rather than thinking: “God’s generosity is sometimes not fair,” let us think instead, “When we put away the past and follow God’s example of enormous generosity, we are better able to welcome the lost back home into the kingdom . . . and to give thanks for our own part in God’s great rejoicing”. 

Tomorrow, healing the poor.

Image from: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/13404

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