Grace to you!
There is a dramatic shift in the message of Lent starting today, Monday of the fourth week of Lent. The shift is from an ethical message, the call to conversion, to the message about Christ, what is known in theology as Christology.
Lent is a time for conversion. Yes! However, Lent loses its core when it fails to introduce us to the person of Jesus, the Christ and a deepened relationship with him.
Who is Jesus of Nazareth? This is a big question in theology and one of the longest debates in Christian history. Here, consistent with the simple style of our daily reflections, I share a little of what the reading of today tells us about Jesus.
The Gospel of John 4:43-54 shows he is the fulfillment of the Old Testament revelations. He is the Christ.
Jesus came to Galilee. According to Josephus, the most renowned historian of the ancient period, Galilee was one of the most strategically located, surrounded by over two hundred cities, a kind of cosmopolitan area, where people are open to new and fresh ideas. To be welcomed in Galilee was to be launched properly to other parts of Israel. Jesus chose to appear in Galilee.
His first action, which the Gospel of John called the second sign, was to heal a Royal Official’s son simply by saying “you may go, your son will live,” when the official wanted a more traditional, dramatic visit to his home in order for Jesus to perform a healing ritual over the son.
It’s important to understand that healers during the time of Jesus worked by potions and elaborate rituals upon the sick. It was a common belief that healing wouldn’t take place unless there was a touch, a potion, some effective instrument or rituals performed on the sick. It was, therefore, groundbreaking for Jesus to utter a word from a distance and have the Royal Official’s son healed. It’s comparable to creating things out of nothing; and for the Jew, and indeed for us, only God creates ex-nihilo (out of nothing).
Here you have it? Jesus of Nazareth is the one who, like his Father, says a word and healing takes place. Only God, the Son of God can do this.
As we journey through the last two weeks of Lent, we shall continue to explore the identity of Jesus Christ because the Lenten call to conversion is equally a call, not simply for a change of heart, but for the renewal and rebuilding that happens through a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Did you know that opening your heart to God's Word, the Christ, could bring the much needed healing for you and your loved ones?
Pray: Lord, say a word and I will be healed. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
[Monday, Lent, Week 4, Is 65:17-21 Jn 4:43-54]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.