Jesus miraculously heals the Official’s son from afar. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Fruit of Faithfulness from the Holy Spirit so he can more deeply ponder the mysteries of Jesus Christ and grow in faith and by building the Virtue of Fortitude so he can grow in holiness during times of trials and tests.
4th Week of Lent – Monday – Jn 4:43-54
After inspiring astounding faith in the semi-pagan Samaritans, Jesus returns to Cana in Galilee. Despite being welcomed by the Jews of Galilee because they sought signs and were impressed by Jesus’ clearing of the Temple (Jn 2:13-17), and His miracles at the wedding in Cana (Jn 2:1-12), Jesus confirms faith in Him is low in Galilee (“a prophet has no honor in his own country”).
In contrast to the shallow faith of some of the Jews, after arriving in Cana, Jesus encounters the deep faith of an unlikely believer. The royal official from Capernaum, likely a Gentile servant of King Herod Antipas, responsible for overseeing the region, makes a desperate day’s journey to Cana to find Jesus. The official’s beloved son was near death due to a fever. The official so loves his son that he publicly humbles himself by desperately begging Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son. Jesus, perhaps to rebuke the many sign-seekers among the Jews, or to test the man’s faith, bluntly rejects the man’s heart-felt request, saying, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
Undeterred, the royal official persists and desperately begs again, professing his faith that, if Jesus will only come to Capernaum, his son will live. Having tested the man and rebuked the sign-seekers, Jesus simply says, “Go; your son will live.” The royal official has absolute faith that Jesus has healed his son from a distance; this is astounding faith, for in those days, healing attempts were done in person by laying on of hands and by the use of healing spices. Rushing back to Capernaum, the royal official is met by his slaves, who reveal his son’s fever lifted at the exact time of Jesus’ promise. The royal official is converted, and as the head of his household, leads his family and slaves to also be converted to Christ; this conversion is remarkable and courageous, for the man was a Gentile and under the authority of King Herod, the king who will kill John the Baptist and who colludes with the Romans against faithful Jews.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus calls men to faith: Divine King and greatest Leader, He sometimes uses Harsh rebukes to test the faith of a would-be follower; Divine Justice, He rewards those who put their faith in Him by answering their prayers; Divine Charity, Jesus Cares for the Sick (a Corporal Work of Mercy), using Divine Power to miraculously Heal the gravely ill, which causes many to come to Faith.
Ponder the mysteries of Christ and grow in Faith
Realize: While the Church’s teachings provide a compelling and sufficient basis for faith, Jesus’ life is full of mysterious supernatural revelations, which cannot be fully comprehended by imperfect men, but that lead men to faith.
Believe: Reflect upon The Mysteries of Christ’s Life (CCC 512-570).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Faithfulness so I can build a daily habit of pondering Your many mysteries in prayer and Scripture and be drawn ever nearer to You.
Grow in holiness through trials and tests
Realize: Like the royal official’s great trial, every Catholic man faces times of severe trial in the Spiritual Combat of life which can draw him closer to God.
Believe: Reflect upon Trials and Tests (CCC 164, 272, 901, 1508, 1808, 2847).
Pray: Jesus, Crucified Christ, help me build the Virtue of Fortitude so I have the courage and perseverance to meet every trial and test You give me to grow in holiness, with the grace and grit of a heroic Catholic man.