Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent




Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 244

1st Reading – IS 65:17-21

Thus says the LORD:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens
and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered
or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
They shall live in the houses they build,
and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 30:2 AND 4, 5-6, 11-12A AND 13B

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
“Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Verse Before The Gospel – AM 5:14

Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the LORD will be with you.

Gospel – JN 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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

An Interesting Miracle

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.” John 4:48-50

Indeed the child does live and the royal official is overjoyed when he returns home to find that his child was healed. This healing took place at the same time that Jesus said he would be healed.

One interesting thing to note about this passage is the contrast of Jesus’ words. At first, it almost sounds as if Jesus is angry when He says, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” But then He immediately heals the boy telling the man, “Your son will live.” Why this apparent contrast in Jesus’ words and action?

We should note that Jesus’ initial words are not so much a criticism; rather, they are simply words of truth. He is aware of the fact that many people lack faith, or are at least weak in faith. He is also aware of the fact that “signs and wonders” are beneficial for people at times so as to help them come to believe. Though this need to see “signs and wonders” is far from ideal, Jesus works with it. He uses this desire for a miracle as a way of offering faith.

What’s important to understand is that the ultimate goal of Jesus was not the physical healing, even though this was an act of great love; rather, His ultimate goal was to increase the faith of this father by offering him the gift of his son’s healing. This is important to understand because everything we experience in life from our Lord will have as its goal a deepening of our faith. Sometimes that takes on the form of “signs and wonders” while at other times it may be His sustaining presence in the midst of a trial without any visible sign or wonder. The goal we must strive for is faith by allowing whatever our Lord does in our lives to become the source of our faith’s increase.

Reflect, today, upon your own level of faith and trust. And work to discern the actions of God in your life so that those actions produce greater faith. Cling to Him, believe He loves you, know that He holds the answer you need and seek Him in all things. He will never let you down.

Lord, please increase my faith. Help me to see You acting in my life and to discover Your perfect love in all things. As I see You at work in my life, help me to know, with greater certainty, Your perfect love. Jesus, I trust in You.

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