Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
(Isaiah 65:17-21; John 4:43-54)
The fourth Sunday of Lent marks a threshold. No longer will the weekday readings call for prayer, fasting, and forgiving. Now they center on the life that Christ promises. The gospel book changes as well. For almost four weeks one of the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was used. Now the Gospel of John presenting Jesus as “the resurrection and the life” is opened for work.
Jesus seems perturbed with the royal official when he says, “’Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.’” He is wary of people’s faith that is based solely on the miraculous. Jesus is encouraging the man to believe so that he may have eternal life. As a matter of fact, the official does so without seeing the miracle take place. Only the next day does he learn that his son recovered from his “near death” condition.
Jesus has also given us new life. Many of us were dead spiritually. We thought too much of money, food, and prestige to appreciate life’s true meaning. The disciplines of Lent have hopefully reoriented us correctly. Now we look forward to experiencing the fullness of life. We should expect not just balance in our daily activities but the joy and peace of caring about one another. Heaven or eternal life consists precisely in this.