Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
IS 65: 11-21
PS 30: 2 AND 4, 5-6, 11-12A AND 13B
JN 4: 43-54
In our Gospel story today, we read about a father drawn to Jesus for love of his son. The father as a political power holder in the community must have exhausted other options before turning to an itinerant preacher acclaimed to be a wonder worker. Jesus asks for nothing from the father, but sends him back to be with his son, now healed. The boy's fever dissipates at what appears to be the time Jesus proclaimed him such.
We as readers are meant to conclude the healing to be a miracle. Whatever we call a miracle in our lives, it usually comes about because our expectations for a given situation turned out differently than we originally thought. As people of faith, we take our personal experience of miracles as a sign of God's responsiveness to us. Every miracle is also a story of our responsiveness to God. The gospel passage today contains two miracles in how the father responded to Jesus that offers us an invitation for this Lenten season.
First off, the father went to Jesus instead of to someone else about what distressed him most in his life. For us today, it is more likely we go to something else: Netflix, our phones, or another distraction to avoid facing problems. To go to Jesus in prayer and share what is weighing on our hearts and minds might be breaking the chain of usual events for us.
The second miracle is patience. Thoughts must have been racing through the father's head in the gospel story today as he walked back to his home. ""Does Jesus have the power to do this?" "How long should I wait for this to work?" Lent is usually full of many broken resolutions, and dry periods when we feel we are not drawing closer to God. We might be tempted to abandon our holy desires with which we began the season. The journey of Lent is a time of waiting for God to heal the brokenness in our world and in ourselves caused by sin. With the desire centered on growing closer to God, we trust change is occurring although we might not see it in ourselves.
Let us pray that Lent will be a time of healing and miracles for one another, in situations both near and far, and in our hearts.