MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

March 12, 2018

Isaiah 65:17-21

 

For I am about to create new heavens
    

and a new earth;


the former things shall not be remembered
    

or come to mind.

But be glad and rejoice forever
    

in what I am creating;


for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
    

and its people as a delight.

I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
    

and delight in my people;


no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
    

or the cry of distress.

No more shall there be in it
    

an infant that lives but a few days,
    

or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;


for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
    

and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.

They shall build houses and inhabit them;
    

they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

 

Psalm 30:1,3-5, 10-11a, 12b

 

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
    

and did not let my foes rejoice over me.

O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
    

restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,    

and give thanks to his holy name.

For his anger is but for a moment;    

his favor is for a lifetime.


Weeping may linger for the night,    

but joy comes with the morning.

Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!    

O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned my mourning into dancing;  

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

 

John 4:43-54

 

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.

Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.

(NRSVCE)

Meditation

 

In the Isaiah reading, we hear that God is restoring his people and wants them to take comfort in what he can do for them. He does not mention what they did to cause their chastisement and lose their protection. He does not mention their sin. God is speaking through the prophet about hope and joy with promises of new life and a new creation. They had been brought low and now, God was healing them. Sin is the enemy and God wants us to remember that he is the restorer and the punishments he allows have a divine purpose of leading us back to God. 

 

We look at the father in the Gospel who is desperate for his son’s healing. Jesus told him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”  It seems a little contradictory when Jesus tells people not to look for signs, yet he continued to give signs through all the miracles he performed. The man wanted Jesus to come heal his son but Jesus gave him a word instead. The man believed and his son was healed. The signs Jesus performs are signs that we should have faith in him.

 

Not every prayer is answered the same way. God may give a man a miracle, use doctors, medicine, or time. But in each case, we need to be open to the way God wants to heal us.  He wants us to have faith and to keep our eyes on him. Just as in the first miracle of the water made wine in Cana, the miracle took place when people simply followed what Jesus told them to do.

 

We can trust him to do what is best for us if we ask in faith for his perfect will to be done.

 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for your healing love and for your power over sin and death. Because I believe in you, I ask for your perfect will to be done in my life, my body and soul, and for the persons I am praying for now. May I have the grace to know my sins, to repent regularly and to have peace knowing that you can make all things new again. Amen

 

 

 

 

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