Monday of the 4th Week of Lent

John 4:43-54

Second Sign at Cana

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from 365 Days With The Lord


Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee. For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in His native place. When He came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed Him, since they had seen all He had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.

Then He returned to Cana in Galilee, where He had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to Him and asked Him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” The royal official said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While he was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.” The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe. [Now] this was the second sign Jesus did when He came to Galilee from Judea.


2008 The Royal Official approaching Jesus was a Jew, probably in the service of Herod Antipas. Jesus was in Cana, and the official’s son was sick at Capernaum, about 16 miles away. The official’s faith wasn’t perfect: He begged Jesus to come down (v. 47), not thinking that Jesus could work a miracle from a distance. Jesus’ initial retort – “unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (v. 48) – was aimed at the Jews as a class.

Jesus’ direction that the official go on his way, because his son lives (v. 50), put the man’s faith to the test of accepting Jesus’ word without proof. The hope expressed in Jesus’ words is the desire of all who are coming from sin to forgiveness, from death to new life in the sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation and at Easter. Trusting the words of Jesus seems so natural in this story. We rarely find it so clear and simple! Usually, we’re either very unsure about what to do or we discount what might happen. We want certainty! Yet the direction for our lives is usually not that precise or apparent. We need to trust that God is with us. We’re often not sure what we “hear” at first, so we need to ponder it a while. We also have to trust our prayer, our intuition, and the promises in Scripture which assure us of God’s guidance.

The official arrived home only the next day. Since he believed, he could hardly show great haste to verify his son’s cure; besides, rest for his animals and followers was needed. On the way, he learned that his son had been cured at about the same time that Jesus had assured him of the cure (vv. 51-52). His faith lost all reserve, and he and his whole household became believers (v. 53).

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:


“Sign” (Greek semeion) is a Gospel word for the miracles or wonders performed by Jesus. The term conveys the idea that miracles attest to God as the source of Jesus’ message. Still, on occasion, Jesus refuses to satisfy people’s demand for such signs (Mt 12:38-40; 16:1, 4; Mk 8:11-12). He cautions against relying totally on such signs because even the forces of evil can perform miracles as false “signs” (Mt 24:24).
Signs have a marked role in the Gospel of John, whose second section (1:19—12:50) is known as “The Book of Signs” and whose conclusion declares, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of [his] disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may [come to] believe that Jesus is the Messiah…” (20:30-31).
In the second sign that Jesus works at Cana, a royal official asks Jesus to heal his son who is ill. Jesus responds accordingly, calling the man to greater faith. Without seeing the miracle, the official puts faith in Jesus’ word. His son is healed, and he and his whole household come to believe. Yet, even here, Jesus expresses his skepticism at faith induced by signs, noting the Galileans’ welcoming enthusiasm that springs from curiosity and not from the heart (v 48). What is more important is for people to believe in Jesus as speaking with God’s authority and heeding his call to repentance.

2013 This was the second sign Jesus did. Lightning does not strike twice, it is said. But grace can strike repeatedly. The Gospel tells of a second miracle Jesus does when he is in Cana. From the words of Jesus, we can see that the royal official’s faith is not perfect. Nevertheless, seeing this man’s imperfect faith, Jesus grants him his desire. The miracle strengthened the man’s faith so that he and his whole household believed in Jesus.

Jesus does not despise our little faith. He encourages it to grow. When we feel that our faith is weak and faltering, let us say like that other father in the gospel, “Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief!” (cf Mk 9:24).

Your faith, even the size of a mustard seed, can work wonders (cf Mt 17:20).

2014 COME DOWN BEFORE MY SON DIES. The second sign or miracle that Jesus performs in Cana in Galilee is the healing of the royal official’s son who is dying in Capernaum. Following the style of the Fourth Gospel, Jesus is presented as not immediately attending to the request of the father, just as in the first miracle he seemed to rebuff the request of his mother (cf Jn 2:4). As Mary showed her faith and confidence in Jesus by telling the servers to do whatever Jesus would tell them, so here the royal official insists on his request and believes Jesus when he tells him to go home because his son will live. Both Mary and the father are thus rewarded. The father realizes that his son began to recover at the very time Jesus said his word.

Through miracles, Jesus reminds us that God is not deaf to human cries. But these are only reminders, not everyday occurrences. Pain and suffering have their purpose, and we believe that God can draw good things out of apparently evil situations.

We learn from the things we suffer. What do you value most

that came out from your difficulties and sufferings?


The appropriateness of the “second sign” done in Cana should be gauged by its position in the Gospel. It follows immediately the Samaritans’ confession that Jesus is “the savior of the world” (Jn 4:42). For the miracle performed by Jesus demonstrates precisely this point. He saves the official’s son from death: “Your son will live.” He is indeed “the Savior.”

Jesus’ promise of “will live” touches the very heart of salvation. All Jesus’ miracles of healing are in a sense deliverance from death, if only because all illness is an incursion of death upon life. The account of the instantaneous healing by mere words of Jesus highlights the element of wonder at the salvation he brings.

For all the wonder at the salvation Jesus brings, for all its success as a sign, for all its laudable consequences, that “he and his whole household came to believe,” a reminder is still needed to all who read this Gospel: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (v 48). The whole point in understanding the revelation, which calls for faith, is found precisely in Jesus’ declaration, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29). Herein lies the true beatitude of all who read the account of this or any other sign in the Fourth Gospel.

  1. “Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him…” (1 Pt 1:8)

2016 THE MAN BELIEVED WHAT JESUS SAID TO HIM AND LEFT. Vv 43-45 give us a geographical transition of Jesus’ ministry: He continues to travel to the north of Galilee. In Galilee, Jesus receives a warm welcome. In Cana, a royal official from Capernaum approaches Jesus and pleads with Him to come to his house and heal his son who is gravely ill. Jesus tells him to go home, for his son will live. The royal official believes the word that Jesus has spoken. Indeed, when while still on the way, his slaves meet him, bringing the good news that his son will live. In John, “believing” is never used as a noun; it is always used as a verb, as we have it in the Gospel. The royal official’s faith in Jesus is expressed by his compliance to Jesus’ words: He leaves without asking Jesus any further on how his son will be healed. Faith cannot be static; it must always be dynamic. Our faith in Jesus should not be only expressed in words, in professions of faith; above all, it should be seen in our obedience to Jesus’ words.

SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:

2018 Unless you people see signs and wonders
The Gospel shows how faith is very powerful or, rather, how Jesus’ power is revealed in response to the request of a royal official who has faith in Jesus.

The official’s son is at the point of death. Most religious leaders witness Jesus’ signs but do not believe in him. But this official is different. He is more like Jairus (cf Mk 5:21-43; Mt 9:18-26; Lk 8:40-56) and the centurion (cf Mt 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10) in the Synoptic gospels. These persons are in positions of power and authority but are very receptive to Jesus and do not doubt his power to respond to their needs.

As Jesus says, even faith as tiny as a mustard seed can move mountains (cf Mt 17:20). When we believe, we put ourselves entirely in the hands of God and are convinced that with God nothing is impossible. Of course, not everything we ask for we receive, because God knows our entire life and what is best for us.

Faith is a conviction, not a mere feeling or a leap into the unknown because it is our last resort. Faith is based on our certainty that God can do all things and wills only our good.

Do we judge people’s credibility by their works or by their socio-economic status?

* * *
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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