March 7, 2016
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
The good news for the Day
A couple of days later Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. (As a matter of fact, Jesus himself had made mention that a prophet lacks standing in his own community.) When He arrived in Galilee, Galileans welcomed him, since they had come to know everything he had done at the holyday celebration in Jerusalem; for they themselves had traveled there for the holyday (John 4, 43-45)
The Gospels show connections. This gospel connects Jesus as He travels from an inaugural time in Judea, into a significant encounter in Samaria, and finally back home into Galilee. In Jerusalem, there had been discussion of baptism linking it to heaven and New Life with the Son of God. In Samaria, Jesus holds an unusual conversation with an unusual woman; she goes on to preach Jesus to her fellow Samaritans—changing people’s lives. In the next encounter—in Galilee—Jesus brings a government official’s child to life.
Jesus deals with these particular people—who are devalued by Jewish authorities. The woman, though, converts her fellow Samaritans to Jesus. A public official—someone collaborating with Rome’s occupation, comes to Jesus. Both individuals express faith in Jesus and his Life-giving power.
Rejected as a prophet at home, Jesus now mingles with people whose main quality is growth in their faith. What is this faith? That heaven has opened, that new life is happening—that the world is now renewing Life by water and the Spirit. Jesus offers a New World, a New Creation—of faith
Faith is “belief in the unseen”—in future Life—awakening people to authentic Life, to forgiveness for failure, and to wholeness arising afresh from shortcomings. The Good News is—this comes not by miracles, but by faith—not by disdain, but by your open-heartedness towards the future.