REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 15, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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.” Jn. 4:46-48
In our gospel reference today Jesus responded to the royal official who had come to asked Jesus to come heal his sick son. There is a passion in this request of a father whose son was sick. Underlying his request was a faith that seeks signs. Jesus could see between the lines so he questioned his quest for sign.
Jesus did end up healing the royal official’s son. And when the royal official returned to discover his son healed, we are told that “he and his whole household came to believe.” Some came to believe in Jesus only after He performed miracles. There are two lessons we should take from this.
First of all, the fact that Jesus performed miracles is a testimony to Who He is. He is a God of abundant mercy. As God, Jesus could have expected faith from those to whom He ministered without offering them the “proof” of signs and wonders. This is because true faith is not based upon external evidence, such as seeing miracles; rather, authentic faith is based upon an interior revelation from God by which He communicates His very self to us and we believe.
The fact that Jesus did signs and wonders shows just how merciful He is. He offered these miracles not because anyone deserved them, but simply because of His abundant generosity to help spark faith in the lives of those who found it hard to believe through the interior gift of faith alone.
It is important to understand that we should work to develop our faith without relying upon external signs. Imagine, for example, if Jesus would have never performed any miracles. How many would have come to believe in Him? Perhaps very few. But there would have been some who came to believe, and those who did would have had a faith that was exceptionally deep and authentic. Imagine, for example, if this royal official did not receive a miracle for his son but, nonetheless, chose to believe in Jesus anyway through the transforming interior gift of faith.
In each one of our lives, it is essential that we work to develop our faith, even if God doesn’t seem to act in powerful and evident ways. In fact, the deepest form of faith is born in our lives when we choose to love God and serve Him, even when things are very difficult. Faith in the midst of difficulty is a sign of very authentic faith.
Reflect, today, upon the depth of your own faith. When life is hard, do you love God and serve Him anyway? Even if He doesn’t remove the crosses you carry? Seek to have true faith at all times and in every circumstance and you will be amazed at how real and sustaining your faith becomes.
Merciful Jesus, Your love for us is beyond what we will ever fathom. Your generosity is truly great. Help me to believe in You and to embrace Your holy will both in good times and in difficult ones. Help me, especially, to be open to the gift of faith, even when Your presence and action in my life seems silent. May those moments, dear Lord, be moments of true interior transformation and grace. Jesus, I trust in You.