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The Good News for the day, March 12, 2018

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent (244)

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee. (Jesus himself was public about the fact that a prophet gets no respect in his native place. When he came into Galilee, some Galilean folks did welcome him—they had seen everything he had been doing in Jerusalem at the feast—since they themselves had been at the festival.) He was going to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. It happened there was a high-high-ranking official whose child lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he traveled to him and asked him to come down and heal his child, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you just do not believe.” The high-ranking official said to him, “Sir, please come down—before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your boy will survive.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and went away. While the man was still on his way back home, his subordinates met him and told him that his boy was going to live. He asked them the time when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday—about one in the afternoon.” The father realized that it was just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will survive.” He and his whole household came to believe. Now this was the second sign Jesus did –when He came back into Galilee from Judea. (John 4)

Too many of us know families—perhaps our own—who have lost a child—or had one near death—an unbearable grief. This desperate, prominent man comes to a slightly famous good man— but still just a working man. Jesus treats him somewhat coolly. The man persists—humbly, desperately—past his cool treatment.

Sometimes, a child dies. Sometimes the little one lives.

The official begs. Jesus says, “yes.” The man believes—goes back home trusting. He has done all he can. The child lives, healed from afar, as the timing proves.

This tale seems a hard one to get. This child lives—but too often a child dies, it seems, no matter how strong and persistent our faith is, how much prayer, desperation, or turning to God you do.

So—what exactly is the Good News? Perhaps—you and I want and pray for miracles and signs, but faith is faith whether the answer is “Yes, he will live,” or “No, the child will not.” Faith today is deeper than miracles; it is a trust that whatever happens will be Good News—will bring a new dimension of life. Grief itself can be a New Life, an embrace of accepting our father’s will. Our faith is always in Life and Living.

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