Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Book of the Prophet Isaiah 65:17-21, Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5, 6, 11-12c and 13b,
& John 4:43-54
Christ and the Centurion by Paolo Veronese, circa 1571
We live in a time of signs and wonders, yet we do not act as if we believe. In today's Gospel narrative, Saint John notes that a prophet has no honor in his native place. Since the world has become so interwoven through modern technological wonders, our world has become the "native place" for each of us. Through satellite technology, we can view current events as they happen without leaving our living rooms. Therefore, we can ask if prophets can then arise anywhere in the world. Are prophets among us now? Have there been prophets in our recent memory, or do we look only to our own "tribe" for prophets and not throughout our native land?
Jesus expresses just a hint of frustration that His tribe doesn't believe in what He has to say or the truth of His prophecy unless they see signs and wonders. If we truly believe, do we need signs and wonders? Like the royal official, do we need to see a sick child's curing to believe in Christ's message?
Well, yes, we probably do. At times our faith is weak, and when we see and understand signs and wonders, we believe in them. What then are signs and wonders? Many of the Gospels' examples are miracles, but are signs and wonders something besides the extraordinary? If we have a real awareness of God's presence in our lives and make an authentic response to that presence, isn't every aspect of life a sign and wonder? Signs and wonders can help us feel God's presence and reassure us of His love. Jesus understood this human weakness, and so He used signs and wonders.
When we observe the great blessings that modern signs and wonders can provide, do we share them freely or hoard them selfishly? The most fundamental message from Jesus is to love one another unselfishly. Saint Ignatius felt love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words. I say, "Amen to that!"
Question of the Day: How will you react to today's signs and wonders as they impact your life as well as the entire world?
Prayer: Lord God, please forgive me. I live in a time of signs and wonders, yet I do not act as if I believe. Please strengthen my faith so I can act on my beliefs. Amen.