Posted by: livingscripture | March 23, 2009

Fourth Monday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

 

The royal official pleaded with him, ‘come down before my child dies.’  Jesus told him, ‘Return home.  Your son will live.’  (John 4, 49-50)

 

How should we live this Word

 

After the miracle of Cana, where Jesus changed water into wine, He continues his travels in Galilee, on Israel’s periphery far from the powerful.  Here He meets a royal official who, for love of his son, lowers himself to ask for help from the carpenter of Nazareth.

 

Here are two men who in different ways come down from their privileged positions and humble themselves out of love.  On the one hand we have God’s Son who came down from heaven and became one of us.  The other is a powerful man who puts aside his role out of love for his son and begs for help.  At first, the Teacher responds brusquely to the plea.  He wants to admonish the Jews who are always searching for prodigious signs in order to believe.  Then, seeing the desperate father’s insistence, He gives the reassuring response, ‘Return home. Your son will live’! 

 

cbconsolator_t1Jesus’ miracles are always the outcome of a personal encounter, of a gaze that penetrates the soul and intuits the profound meaning of the request.  When He finds purity of heart, He responds immediately, perhaps in a way that is not always clear to us but is without a doubt, aimed at ‘giving life in abundance’.

 

In this Lenten journey that brings us to Easter, let us present ourselves as well to Jesus. Let us kneel before Him and pray to Him.  We too carry in our heart sons and daughters who suffer, sisters and brothers who are desperate due to the economic crisis that leaves no one unscathed.  We carry in our soul the wounds of violence, of abuse, of vulgarity, of pedophilia.  Let us go to Jesus accompanied by these situations of pain and, with the same faith as the royal official, ask Him to intervene.  He will certainly stop and give us a response of hope that He obtained for us with His Passion.

 

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will pray with the words of the father of today’s Gospel:

 

Lord, come down before my child dies.

 

The voice of Teilhard de Chardin, scientist and mystic

 

Death despoils us entirely of ourselves to place in our hands the power of heaven and earth.  This is the extreme aspect of its terror…but for the mystic, it is also the fullness of blessedness.


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