I continue to improve in terms of appetite and cough. Maureen makes all my favourite recipes which is a big help when you dont feel all that hungry at meal times. The cough has got much better in the last 3 days or so. A cough bottle I got from the doctor’s visit last week I think has been a big help in loosening things up. I still get tired during the day but that should pass with time.
Today’s gospel is John 4:43-54. Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. He himself had declared that there is no respect for a prophet in his own country, but on his arrival the Galileans received him well, having seen all that he had done at Jerusalem during the [Passover] festival which they too had attended.
He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a court official there whose son was ill at Capernaum and, hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son as he was at the point of death. Jesus said, ‘So you will not believe unless you see signs and portents!’ ‘Sir,’ answered the official ‘come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go home,’ said Jesus ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way; and while he was still on the journey back his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive. He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. ‘The fever left him yesterday’ they said ‘at the seventh hour.[1pm]’ The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live’; and he and all his household believed.
This was the second sign given by Jesus, on his return from Judaea to Galilee.
This healing of the royal official’s son is John’s second miraculous sign. Raymond Brown explains the term as ‘a miracle which shows the onlooker something about Christ’s mission, and often shows the Christian reader something more about Christ and the Church which continues his mission’.
The first sign also took place at Cana in Galilee (v. 46). Jesus and his disciples then spent a few days in Capernaum (where the royal official came from) prior to spending the feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. Here he met Nicodemus. Travelling from Judaea to Cana in Galilee via Samaria, Jesus met the woman at the well. To Nicodemus, Jesus spoke of rebirth and new life, to the Samaritan woman of living water and eternal life We now reach the climax of restored life.
Through his first sign at the Wedding in Cana, Jesus ‘manifested his glory; and his disciples believed’ (John 2:11); here, the official and his household believed when his son was restored to life. This was all the more miraculous in that the healing took place not when Jesus saw the boy, but when he simply said, ‘Go; your son will live’ (v. 50).
The official may have had an important role at Herod’s court, but even this did not give him access to successful treatment for his son. Today, we would look to analgesics or antibiotics to relieve the fever, but even so parents would be beside themselves as their beloved child’s temperature remained dangerously high.
This man too must have been distraught. St John Chrysostom said, ‘Fathers often are so carried away by their affection… not wishing to leave any means untried, which might save their children.’ This man came to a teacher of whom he knew very little, yet whose word was sufficient. It was not ‘signs and wonders’ that brought life, but Jesus’ words. His words give life to those who believe.
Just as Jesus healed the official’s son, so he will respond to our need, if we but ask. As we come face to face with him in prayer, Scripture and the Eucharist, let us share with him our deepest needs. (Bible Alive)
Lord, just as you restored life to the official’s son, I believe that your word can bring renewed life today. Speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed.
If you’d like to watch a youtube video of this event, click on this link: