Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

(Isaiah 65:17-21; John 4: 43-54)

The third part of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah was composed after the Exile.  For years the people of Jerusalem suffered in a foreign land.  Now they are back home although their trials have not ended.  The prophet says, in effect, “Enough is enough,” and foretells a time of plenty.  The passage should reflect our Lenten experience to date. 

We have passed the watershed on our Lenten journey.  Hopefully, we have been freed of the attachments to material goods that keep us from loving as we should.  Now we can focus on Jesus’ promise of eternal life.

The gospel manifests the promise’s fulfillment.  Jesus challenges the royal official to trust in him.  As soon as he does, his request for the cure of his son is granted.  The passage emphasizes, however, more than recovered health.  Three times it speaks of the boy living.  It adds that the official’s whole household, obviously including the son, comes to believe.  Their lives will endure death to experience unimaginable dimensions of life.