Seeing the Signs
Readings: Is 65:17-21; Jn 4:43-54
"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." Jn 4:48
"Lord, grant me enough adversity to keep my hand firmly clasped in Thine," reads a short prayer on a classic bookmark.
The trouble facing the royal official — his son's declining health — was something he had probably tried to handle on his own. Because of his position, he probably could afford special attention for his son. But now the son was near death. Now the man was desperate.
There's no indication that the royal official had sought out Jesus when He was previously at Cana in Galilee. Upon Jesus' return there, the royal official travels about 20 miles to see Him. The man asks Jesus to come down and heal his son. Jesus' first response is a general criticism of those assembled for their lack of faith, presumably including the royal official.
By now, the official, who might have begun his journey as a last resort, has developed a degree of belief. The man persists. His plea becomes more urgent, "Sir, come down before my child dies."
Jesus promises a healing for the son. But the man actually receives two blessings: his son's recovery and faith for himself and his household.
Our sanctification can be advanced in ways we don't expect. In her Diary, St. Faustina records a vision of herself walking to take a place at the altar. As she progressed, people threw mud, stones, and other items at her. Once she reached her place at the altar, the same people reached out to her, asking for graces. Saint Faustina writes, "I was surprised that I felt a very special love precisely for those persons who had forced me to go more quickly to my appointed place" (Diary, 31).
Even the most challenging parts of life can work for our own sanctification. Can we still find Jesus in the face of adversity?
Lord Jesus, help me to find comfort in knowing that You are with me when I face adversity and that You can use all things for my sanctification. Amen.
Diary of St. Faustina
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