Monday of the 4th Week of Lent

John 4:43-54

Second Sign at Cana

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

A royal official came to a carpenter. This royal official was a man of high standing at the court of Herod. He came to Jesus who had a lowly status of a village carpenter. Further, Jesus was then in Cana and this royal official lived in Capernaum, almost twenty mile away. That is why it took the royal official a long time to get back home. Thus this royal official teaches us the value of self-sacrifice. He practically moved heaven and earth to help a loved one in need.  Blood is indeed thicker than water. The royal official’s attitude is a good illustration of how deeply a parent could love and care for his child.

The royal official refused to be discouraged. What a man! Jesus bluntly told the royal official, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you refuse to believe.” And yet the royal official did not get disappointed. Nothing could discourage him. He simply pleaded, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” His trust in Jesus was persistent and real. The royal official “put his trust” in Jesus, even before there was any sign of a cure. Jesus demands this kind of trust (faith) before ever working a miracle. His miracles, after all, are signs attesting to his mission and witnessing to the Kingdom of God. If trust or faith is not present, His miracles would lose much of their true significance.

This royal official surrendered himself to God. He was not a man who got what he wanted and then went away to forget. This royal official was a man who faced and accepted the facts. He saw what Jesus could do; he had experienced the power and the promise of Jesus; and there was nothing left for him but surrender. He had started with a sense of need which turned into act of surrender. The point is to let go and let God. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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In the gospel, the government official traveled all the way from Capernaum to Cana in Galilee and requested Jesus to heal his son who was about to die. For his faith in Jesus the government official’s request was not denied.

I have a friend who would travel early Saturday morning from Manila just to join the 6:30AM Mass at the Pink Sisters’ chapel in Tagaytay. I told her she can join any early morning Mass in Manila for her special intention. She said traveling that far is a manifestation of her faith and the value of sacrifice. Uniting her small sacrifice to Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice for her salvation allows her to bring to Him her intention in a more special way.

Reflections:

1.    Do you believe in the value of sacrifice?

2.    Do you notice Jesus traveling with you in your life’s journey?

3.    Do you subscribe to the idea that grace builds on nature? (Fr. Ed Foguso, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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A story is told about a young boy who was trapped at the roof of their burning house. The smoke was so thick that he cannot see anything around him. He was crying, calling his father for help. Suddenly he heard his father’s voice asking him to jump. But the boy replied: “No Dad, I can’t see you!” the father said: “Jump, I can see you my son. Jump, I’ll catch you.” “Dad, I’m afraid,” said the poor boy. “Don’t be afraid my son, trust me and you’ll be fine.” Finally the son jumped, landed in his father’s arms and was saved.

In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches us the importance of faith especially when we pray. A royal official was in need of Jesus for his son was seriously ill. He begged Jesus to come with him to cure his son. Jesus told him that his son will live and asked him to go his way. We cannot help but be amazed at the faith of this royal official. He went his way believing on Jesus’ words.

We all know that God is the source of all goodness. In Him, we find life and salvation. But we need to relate with Him in faith for us to be able to experience His goodness and power. Like the poor boy in the story and royal official in the gospel, may we learn to trust in Jesus, not only in times of joys and comfort but even more in times of crises and difficulties. May we all say all the time: “Jesus, I trust in you.” (Fr. Renato Malbog, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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March 7, 2016 Monday

“Father, I do not know if I will still live till tomorrow. I want to confess and ask for an anointing of the sick.” These were some of the most bothering words I had ever heard from a faithful. After Sunday mass this man approached me at the sacristy, explaining that he would have surgery on the following day as a result of a complex health situation. After that, I never heard of him anymore until one of our lay ministers phoned me to say that the surgery never took place in the end because, upon further examination before it, the doctors found him totally healed. I said to myself: “Thanks be to God!”

When we experience frustrating moments in life that are beyond our control we cling to God for mercy and healing. Both the guy who asked for confession and anointing, and the court official in the gospel reading, experienced tremendous frustrations. But despite their conditions they never lost faith in God. Jesus, in the gospel reading, said to the court offi cial, “Your son will live.” I believe Jesus also told the guy who approached me in the silence of his heart, “You will be healed.”

Jesus is our Lord who cannot refuse our sincere prayers. He always gives us new life, new hope and new journey to heaven. Jesus once said: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Lk. 11:9)” He gives us a hint. Believe in Him. Let us firmly believe in Jesus, the Son of the living God. He doesn’t only heal us but also gives us life, a life prepared in heaven. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (Jn.3:16)” (Fr. Garry Bacol, SVD | Argentina Bible Diary 2016)                                

rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/514-march-7-2016-monday

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I BELIEVE IN JESUS: Clearly, the theme of today’s gospel is faith. It was the unwavering faith of the official that brought healing to his sick son.

But there was a process to his faith, a progression in his faith which I want to point out.

When the official first met the Lord, he had faith in the works of the Lord. This was because he had heard about how Jesus changed water to wine. He learned about the miracles Jesus performed in Jerusalem during the feast. In short, he had heard of the miracles and the wonders made by Jesus Christ. So his faith flowed from knowledge of the wondrous works attributed to Jesus.

With this kind of faith, the official approached Jesus, who responded by curing his son. But then the official’s faith underwent a transformation after the miracle took place. From simply believing in the works shown by Jesus Christ the official progressed to having faith not only in the works but also in the person who did the works.

It was a very, very important turn in the faith progress of the official, from faith in the works to faith in the person, Jesus Christ.

We too should aspire to move our faith from faith that is centered on accomplishments, to faith in Jesus Christ. Why? It is because Jesus Christ does not come to us simply to make wonders. If our relationship with God is based only on his granting us things, listening to our prayers or giving in our wishes, then if we do not receive the things we ask for, we sulk. We, then refuse to go to Mass because in our mind God did not heed us. We lash at Him for denying us a very simply favor. We feel that our going to Mass daily has come to naught because God has not heard our petition.

That is faith in works. Therefore, if the work stops, faith also stops.

But the challenge for us is to believe not only in the works of Jesus Christ, but in the person of Jesus Christ, because the person will always be there.

Favors granted or not granted, petitions heard or not heard, the person of Jesus Christ will always be there. Therefore, if your faith rests on the person of Jesus Christ, then even if you are faced with a difficult life, crises and problems; if your prayers seem to remain unanswered; you will still possess a faith that is constant, consistent and persevering. With or without works, you believe in Jesus Christ. Your faith is not on what Jesus does for you but your faith is in His being Jesus Christ.

We will ask the Lord for this kind of faith during this Mass. Some of us are here for varied reasons. Some of us are here to seek the granting of petitions. Some of us are here to ask to be spared from troubles. Some of us are here to pray for inner peace. Some of us are here to pray that our sins be forgiven. But the real reason we should be here is not for the works that God can do for us. Our reason for being here should be because of one person, one very important person, Jesus Christ. Let our faith move from faith in works, to faith in the person; to faith in Jesus Christ. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus Always Jesus, pp. 91-92)

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Let us have faith in the Words of Jesus

Let us have faith in the Works of Jesus

Let us have faith in the Person of Jesus who speaks the Word and does the Work

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My Reflection for Monday March 31, fourth Week of Lent, John 4:43-54

Reflection: To have faith is to believe in something that you don’t see yet and the official in the gospel who beg Jesus to heal his sick son had this kind of faith. He wanted Jesus to go and personally heal his son who at that time was near death.

But Jesus did not gave in to his request, Jesus simply told the offcial, Go; your son will live. So he went home without Jesus but with faith in the words of Jesus in his heart. And when he arrived home his son was already recovering.

To believe in something that we don’t see yet is very difficult to do most especially for those who have feeble faith. But for those who have faith, they will believe no matter the odds against them. If the official in our gospel did not believe in Jesus his son would surely not been healed by Jesus. But he believed with faith!

We all have our own petitions before Jesus. He ask us nothing but to believe with faith, to believe with faith on something that we don’t see yet. And to believe even if others would not believe us. What are your petitions before Jesus? Simply believe, have faith and work for it also for He will never fail you. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/03/my-reflection-for-monday-march-31.html

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Reflection for March 16, Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent; John 4:43-54 Reflection: How deep is our faith in Jesus? Is our faith limited with what we can perceive and see? Or our faith is not bounded by what we can perceive and see? Sometimes it’s hard to have faith if we don’t see something concrete that would reinforce our faith. But faith that is dependent on what we can see is shallow. Deep faith is something that we hold in our hearts even without immediate visible manifestation.

The royal official in our gospel has this deep faith. He believed what Jesus told him without any visible manifestation. When Jesus told him to go back home for his sick son will live, he left without asking any question. He held close to his heart the very words of Jesus that his son would live. And upon arriving home his son was indeed healed the very same time that Jesus uttered the miraculous words to him.

There will come a time that our faith in Jesus will be tested, say for example a severe sickness. What are we going to do when we reach this point of no return? What are we going to do when the doctor will tell us that we only have months to live?

We must hold on tightly to our faith in Jesus and never give-up no matter what. Because our faith in Jesus is much bigger than any sickness. Our faith in Jesus is far stronger than any  sickness that could kill our bodies but not our rock solid faith in Jesus.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/03/reflection-for-march-16-monday-of.html

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LITTLE THINGS: “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” – John 4:48

In my years of serving the Lord, I have seen miracles and great deeds happen right before my eyes. I’m amazed and in awe when I see someone get healed after a pray-over session, or a family saved from separation after a family encounter weekend. It is in these “highs” that I feel the presence of the Lord the most.

But when I don’t see these signs and wonders, my faith begins to shake and stumble.

Someone wise told me, “Faith happens not when the miracle is achieved, but during the process.”

I realized that my focus had been too much on the miracle itself, not on Jesus who made it happen. In the eyes of faith, believing is seeing the presence of God everywhere. Now I begin every single day thankful for the little things, looking forward to the miracles of God packaged in simple ways. Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

Reflection: What are the little things you want to be thankful for today?

Dear Lord, may I see You in every person I meet, in every place I go to, and in every activity I do today.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-03-31

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1ST READING: Isaiah speaks of a time of prosperity that will follow the suffering of exile in Babylon. Hope is a tremendously powerful reality, particularly when it is hope in the promises of the Lord. We know that they will be fulfilled. We should always reflect on God’s promise of eternal life for precisely this reason. If we want to be inspired to live good and holy lives, then think about the wonders promised to us in heaven. Isaiah 65:17-21

GOSPEL: Jesus does not impose Himself on us. We have to choose to accept the grace of the Gospel in our lives. This grace is enormous, beyond our comprehension in fact, that it has a natural tendency to appeal to us and, thus, make us see it as good. However, we still need to accept it if it is going to have any lasting effect upon our lives. This is an inherent part of the dignity of life given to us through the gift of free will.John 4:43-54

think: Hope is a tremendously powerful reality, particularly when it is hope in the promises of the Lord.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-03-31

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SMILE MORE OFTEN: I remember one time in my early years as a priest, I had just finished saying Mass in the parish where I was the assistant. As was my practice, I stayed on after the Mass to greet the parishioners. That Sunday, I received the usual commendations for my homily but one comment has remained with me until today.

“That was a very beautiful homily, Father, as always,” a lady commented. But even before I could say thank you, she added, “But you looked so serious. Smile more often. We like seeing that.”

That evening, I set up a video camera in my room and recorded myself giving an imaginary homily before an imaginary audience. Indeed, I was too stingy with my smile, even when I was speaking on a happy subject. The First Reading is an invitation to joy. A new heavens and a new earth is to be created with the intervention of God. “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy.”

Joy is inviting and infectious. Joy is the primary mark of a redeemed people. In his Pentecost address of 2013, Pope Francis, in his usual out-ofthe-script practice, candidly reminded the crowd at St. Peter’s, “ Long-faced Christians cannot be evangelizers. Do you think the people would have believed the story of the Resurrection if the Apostles came out with long faces?” It cannot be more simple than that.

Logic can convince minds, but it is the heart that moves people. Joy resides in and reaches out to the heart. Today, make an effort to smile more often. Warm up to the bored security guard who opens the door for you. Call by name the tired waiter who brings your food and see how immediately they will warm up to you.

Today, radiate the joy that awaits the world with the coming of the Messiah! Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you see an evangelizing dimension to your everyday dealing with people around you?

Help me to radiate Your joy, Lord, to the people I encounter today.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-03-31

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A PREACHER PAYS A PRICE – “… a prophet has no honor in his native place.” – John 4:44

As a Kerygma preacher, I speak about God’s unconditional love, mercy and compassion. Everyone loves that. But there’s another side to being a preacher. It’s about speaking God’s truth and righteousness. Otherwise, I’m just someone who wants to be popular, speaking only what people want to hear.

There lies the rub. In the rare moments that I speak of holiness and righteousness, some people react, especially family and friends. “Who are you to judge? You’re just one of us!” they’d say.

I’m just a regular guy, but it’s part of my job and my calling to say that lying, cheating and unfaithfulness are against genuine love — according to God’s Word and the teachings of Mother Church, not mine. A doctor has to tell you if you’re sick — that’s his job, whether he himself is healthy or not. Then he prescribes the cure to help you become better. You take it or leave it.

So, there! Your own family and friends may not like it but ultimately — preacher, prophet or not — you choose whom you want to obey, serve and please. Alvin Barcelona (apb_ayo@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Speak more out of love, tolerance and understanding. But discern those critical moments when you need to be God’s prophet no matter what the cost — if only to love more genuinely.

Dear Lord, I, too, am Your prophet. Grant me the grace to speak of  Your hope and love, and of Your truth and righteousness. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-03-16

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March 07, 2016

REFLECTION: Today we remember two mothers who together suffered martyrdom for their faith. This drama happened at Carthage in North Africa (present-day Tunisia) on this day in 203.

“Perpetua was a recently baptized, 22-years-old noble woman, with a small child” (The Vatican II Weekday Missal). One can barely imagine what went on in Perpetua’s mind when she realized that she would have to entrust her child to someone else’s care and that she would not live to see her child grow up. The other woman who suffered death with Perpetua (death from the tearing apart of their bodies by wild beasts and then from a final blow of the sword) was Felicity, a slave, who was expecting a child. When Felicity heard the judge condemn her to death, she understood that she would never have the joy of holding her unborn child in her arms, of seeing its face, of hearing its soft gurgles of delight. With shining courage, walking hand in hand, these two women went to their death rather than betray their faith.

The history of the Church is replete with such brave parents. Most of them remain anonymous. But not so in God’s Heaven, where forever they will shine like bright stars.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3465-march-07-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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