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Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
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.
Opening Prayer: Lord, as Lent continues and I grow weary, refresh me in this time of prayer. Help me to see your loving actions in a new way so that I may offer my Lenten sacrifices with renewed fervor.
- Christ Wants to Heal: Our Lord wants to heal us of anything that is an obstacle to our holiness. He also wants us to show him how much we really desire to be healed. What did the royal official have to sacrifice for the healing of his child to occur? He had to leave his son’s bedside and travel from Capernaum to Cana, some twenty miles. He had to overcome Christ’s initial challenge, “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The royal official humbled himself before a carpenter and presented his need in front of the many strangers who followed Christ. When Jesus saw his faith, he cured the son. Our Lord rewards perseverance and faith.
- A Big Ask: The royal official brought to Christ no small petition, “Sir, travel twenty miles by foot to save my son’s life.” The boldness of this petition, for Christ, was a sign of the official’s faith. Christ looks for and welcomes the big challenges and the out-of-the-ordinary petitions we bring to him. They put a smile on the face of Christ!
- Your Son Will Live: God the Father, who sees all from eternity, must have heard these words of Christ with bittersweet tears in his eyes. Good Friday was approaching. The death of the Father’s Son, the very God-man, Jesus, was imminent. From his heavenly throne, the Father might have acknowledged, “Yes, your son will live, and so will all those sons and daughters that my Son has come to save by his death and Resurrection.”
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I desire to have the courage and boldness of this royal official who came to you in humility and believed your words in faith. Increase my faith and show me how to help others believe in you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will look deep into my heart and boldly ask for the grace to change what needs to be changed.
For Further Reflection: Lord, Make Me More Bold, by Jon Bloom.
Father Joshua West is a Legionary of Christ priest serving as chaplain at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.