Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Did you notice the upbeat tone in the readings assigned for today’s liturgy? In your imagination, you might hear a great trumpet fanfare sounding out over the Israelite people in exile as the great Prophet Isaiah ascends the watchtower to make a stunning announcement. He proclaims the Good News by reassuring his people that the suffering and confinement in their Babylonian exile will soon come to an end. God was about to lead them out of exile and back to their homeland as He had done so long ago from Egypt.
Can you imagine the feeling of excitement and anticipation as the people thought about going home? Isaiah proclaimed that yes, normal life would return after the prolonged sickness, children could hope for a full life, and even the elderly would set records for length of days.
But the homecoming was exciting for an even deeper reason. They would come home to restore their faith relationship with Yahweh, the God of Israel whose mercy is without end. But there was a catch. It would take time. In fact, only in the fullness of time would God reveal the depth of that covenant of faith and love. That would happen when Jesus came not only to be with us, but also to take on our human experience through the mystery of the Incarnation.
Our Gospel today shows Jesus reaching out, even at a great distance, to heal an absent dying child because of the honest faith and absolute trust exhibited by the parent. Isn’t it amazing? Think of the overarching reach of God’s love, whether from the ancient past, from the time of Jesus walking with his disciples, or the powerful presence of Jesus walking among us today. Shouldn’t that call for a great trumpet fanfare?
1) Have you ever passed over the Gospel as “too good to be true!” Why?
2) Could you allow Jesus to reach out through you to touch someone who needs healing?
Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB