Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.
Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
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.”
The royal official said to him,
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
“The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
“Your son will live,”
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.
Good News Reflection: Trust in what God has said
Today’s Gospel story shows us a contrast between true believers and non-believers. Jesus wants us to trust in his words instead of looking for undoubtable signs. When the royal official put his trust in what Jesus said to him, he became a true believer. We, however, often put our trust in the idea that “seeing is believing.”
To have strong faith and to overcome doubts, we have to choose to trust what God has told us in his Word, rather than rely on what we can see. Those whose faith depends on visible proof are easily shaken when misfortunes and trials come along.
For example, do we make the sign of the cross at the end of a prayer because we think this gives it more power? It’s much better to make the sign of the cross with our lives by trusting what God has said. Our prayer power comes from our unity with Christ, not from a hand gesture.
God speaks to us clearly in scripture and in Church teachings, which explain how to apply the scriptures to our lives. There’s no reason to be uncertain.
Have you ever considered responding to a call from God but you waited for a sign before saying yes? Usually we get the sign but we doubt it’s from God because we don’t like the answer, so we wait for another sign.
When we’re praying for an end to troubles that others are causing us, we get impatient looking for a sign that God will knock them to the ground with a bolt of Holy Spirit lightning! We should be spending the time, instead, researching what God’s Word teaches about loving the troublemakers and finding peace by letting go of anger and frustration through unconditional forgiveness.
When we want God to prove his love for us by giving us the miracles we seek, we’re not trusting what scripture says about him. We want God to do our bidding as a sign of his concern for us. But only by trusting in his promises can we understand and appreciate that he has a better, although still unknown, plan.
If we insist on seeing signs and wonders, we’re telling God what conditions he must meet to satisfy us. We’re rejecting his superior knowledge, daring to presume that we know better than he does about what’s good for us.
Trust doesn’t make sense. Signs and wonders make sense. We prefer things to make sense, but then we don’t need faith. It’s far better to trust, because trust opens our faith, and faith paves the way for real signs and wonders — signs and wonders that are not proof of God’s love but are pure gifts!
My Lord, may Your love seduce me in such a way that I no longer need signs and wonders to know how much You care for me. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica