Gospel according to 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.
Reflection: Jesus knows 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 to help them come to believe. Jesus said, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” So why is that we need to see a sign or miracle to believe in Christ and His mission? Could you be a faithful disciple of Christ if you have never seen a sign? 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.
This reminds me of a true story about my son and his cousin who both attend the same high school. Now both families live about 45 minutes from the high school. So, us parents have a deal where Connie or I take the boys in the morning and the cousins mother brings them back to a certain rendezvous point where Connie picks up Anthony because it’s close to her office. Well, there was one afternoon when I had to pick them up and go to the rendezvous point. I didn’t know where the pick-up point was but I had an idea of the vicinity. Anyway, I figured the boys would know. While driving down the freeway, I ask the boys if I get off at Euclid Avenue and their response was “Ahhhhh, I think so”. Then I got off the freeway and asked the boys, “do I go left or right? Boys’ response, “Ahhhh, I think left”. As I am starting to get frustrated, I ask them, “where do you meet”? Their response, “Ahhhhh, some gas station”. I said great … there are three stations at this intersection. Then I realized the problem was happening right before me. These kids had their noses in their smart phones and NEVER bothered to look up to see what’s around them. Little alone where the rendezvous point is. Of course, I had to step away from being a disciple of Jesus and became the sinner, and let’s just say I prayed over them … very loudly.
Now I am picking on my family but how many of us do that. We are so in tuned to our phones and won’t see the signs and miracles that surround us. This lack of attention leads to spiritual drowsiness or blindness. We are the same people that require a sign or miracle to strengthen our faith so we could believe. But it’s up to us to search for those signs that surround us because we are the navigators of our own spiritual journey so we could determine the right path.
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 and his slaves by offering them 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 during 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.
Action of the Day: Look up and open your eyes! Jesus has many wonders to show you.