Catholic Men’s Lenten Gospel Pilgrimage – 4th Week of Lent – Monday – John 4:43-54
After the remarkable outpouring of faith, hope and charity by the semi-pagan Samaritans, Christ returns to Cana in Galilee. Despite being welcomed by the Jews, Christ confirms that faith in Him is low in Galilee (“a prophet has no honor in his own country”); the Galileans seeks signs and are impressed by Christ’s clearing of the Temple (John 2:13-17) and by Christ’s miracles at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-12).
In contrast to the shallow faith of the Jews, after arriving in Cana, Christ encounters a deep faith of an unlikely believer. The royal official from Capernaum, likely a Gentile servant of King Herod Antipas who oversaw the region, desperately travels a day’s journey to Cana to find Christ. The royal official’s beloved son is near death due to fever, and in desperation, he begs Christ to come to Capernaum to heal his son. Christ, perhaps to rebuke the sign-seekers among the Jews, rejects the man’s request, saying, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
The royal official persists in faith and asks again, believing that if Christ will only come to Capernaum, his son will live. Having tested the man, Christ simply says, “Go; your son will live.” The royal official completely believes Christ’s word that his son has been healed from a distance; this is an astounding faith, for at that time, attempts at healing involved the laying on of hands or the use of spices. Rushing back to Capernaum, the royal official meets his servants who reveal his son’s fever lifted at the exact time of Christ’s promise. The royal official and his whole household (family and servants) are converted to Christ; this conversion is remarkable for the man is a Gentile and a royal official of King Herod who will kill John the Baptist and colludes with the Romans.
1) Trillions are spent on health care each year on legions of medical workers, diagnostic equipment and drugs. Reflect on the truth that the Son of Man has the supernatural power to simply heal any illness with His Will.
2) While the Church’s teachings provide a compelling and sufficient basis for faith, Christ’s life is full of mysteries (supernatural revelations) which can not be fully comprehended by imperfect men. During Lent, ponder The Mysteries of Christ’s Life (CCC 512-570) and pray for Christ to help you grow in understanding and faith.
3) In the Spiritual Combat, men face times of comfort and times of severe trial. During Lent, reflect on the Church’s teaching on Trials and Tests (CCC 164, 272, 901, 1508,1808, 2847) and pray for Christ to strengthen you to never falter in faith, to grow in virtue and resist temptation.