Pastor’s Daily Reflection – Monday: 3/23/20

The Gospel for today is 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.

With this, the second of Jesus’ signs in Galilee I am reminded of the definition of a coincidence.  It’s God’s way of doing something while remaining anonymous.  I guess we could call it a “God-incidence.”  The skeptics then were probably as quick they are today to dismiss the healing as pure coincidence.  The royal official must have loved his son dearly for he traveled a long way to see Jesus, a day’s journey judging from the timeline.  Given Herod’s notorious paranoia, the man may even have risked the disfavor of his superiors, if not from Herod himself.  What is key here is the fact that the man came to Jesus, and he took Jesus’ word in faith.  It was not necessary that Jesus come to the official’s home or even to his son.  As Jesus said to others during his public ministry, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.”  In this case, it saved his son.  Jesus makes himself present to us whenever we call to him in prayer.  He comes to us, especially in Scripture and Sacrament.  It is our continually coming to him in prayer and devotion at this time that is essential.  I encourage you to dust off the old prayer books.  Intersperse throughout your day various devotions.  Our Church has a very rich devotional life just waiting to be tapped into.  Besides, you can only binge-watch the Home Improvement Channel and Law and Order for so long.  Let us make the most of our time of social distancing.  If we use this time to come closer to Jesus, he will bless our faith and turn our trials into blessings.