1 April 2019
Thus says the Lord: Now I create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered, and will come no more to men’s minds. Be glad and rejoice for ever and ever for what I am creating, because I now create Jerusalem ‘Joy’ and her people ‘Gladness.’ I shall rejoice over Jerusalem and exult in my people. No more will the sound of weeping or the sound of cries be heard in her; in her, no more will be found the infant living a few days only, or the old man not living to the end of his days. To die at the age of a hundred will be dying young; not to live to be a hundred will be the sign of a curse. They will build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. He himself had declared that there is no respect for a prophet in his own country, but on his arrival the Galileans received him well, having seen all that he had done at Jerusalem during the festival which they too had attended.
He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a court official there whose son was ill at Capernaum and, hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son as he was at the point of death. Jesus said, ‘So you will not believe unless you see signs and portents!’ ‘Sir,’ answered the official ‘come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go home,’ said Jesus ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way; and while he was still on the journey back his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive. He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. ‘The fever left him yesterday’ they said ‘at the seventh hour.’ The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live’; and he and all his household believed.
This was the second sign given by Jesus, on his return from Judaea to Galilee.
The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way
What is the opposite of believe?
Recently, someone shared with me a video (https://youtu.be/rY0MIEsvOes) where Steve Ray, an American Catholic convert, talked about what is the opposite of believe. I used to think it was disbelieve, but he shared that it was not so. The opposite of believe is to disobey.
In today’s Gospel, the official believed in Jesus’ word that his ‘son will live.’ Because he believed, he obeyed Jesus’ command to ‘go home.’ In the video, Steve Ray outlines how Abraham really embodies what a father of faith should be. I won’t be repeating what he said because I really believe that the video is a good watch. In summary, he emphasized how God asked Abraham to do things that didn’t make sense, that didn’t give him ‘safety’, that he had to wait for.
The closer we get to God, and the more we listen to Him in our prayers, we discover that God will ask us to do things that would not make sense. The Holy Spirit will inspire us to move out of our comfort zones, and to do things we will normally not do. Just like what he did with the Saints.
I remember watching this movie where Saint Pope John Paul II was elected the Pope. Before his election, another cardinal talked to him to accept the papacy if it was given to him. Saint Augustine said, ‘O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.’ Jonah went out of his way to run away from the Lord. I think these demonstrate that God asks us to obey him because we trust him, even if we cannot fathom his plan.
In our uncertainty, this is where we could prove that we believe in Him, that we trust His promises to us, and most importantly, we trust that He loves us so much. Perhaps, even though it’s painful, we should think of these instances as gifts. Without these gifts, how can we really tell our Lord that we believe Him?
God asks us to take a leap of faith towards Him. Are we going to obey and jump?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)
Prayer: Dearest Lord God, at times, you ask me to do what I think I am unable to do. It’s so difficult when you ask me to trust you. Please give me the grace to obey where you are calling me to, so I can show you my faith in you.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for your gifts of challenges in my life. I have nothing much to offer you but my faith and obedience in you. So I thank you for giving me what I can offer to you.