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Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalms 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12A, 13B; John 4:43-54

My dear encountered couples:

Today Jesus left Samaria and traveled home to Galilee. When he arrived in Cana, a royal officer of the court immediately approached him. His son was deathly ill and naturally, the officer was distraught and frightened. The officer approached Jesus and begged him to come and heal his child. The child was near death. There was no time to waste. The father needed Jesus to come with him immediately! He was the only hope for his son.

This time, the man’s distress and panic got through to Jesus. Jesus understood that this father was deeply frightened at the thought of possibly losing his child. Jesus saw the man’s heart. Yet, Jesus still did not agree to go with the man. He quietly told the officer to go home and simply reassured him that his child would live. Was the official disappointed or angry that Jesus did not go with him to see his son or did he trust Jesus and his promise?

Finally, the court official left and hurried home. When he arrived there, he learned that his child had been completely healed. Imagine the joy and gratitude the father must have experienced in that instant. From this moment on, the father, his family, and all the members of his household believed in Jesus.

What is the healing that we wish to ask or Jesus? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we immediately received the healing we desire? In one way, this would be wonderful. However, would we begin to see Jesus in a different light? Would Jesus become more like a “vending machine” to us? Would we come, place our prayer/request before Jesus, make an offering and then wait for our prayers to be answered, preferably exactly as we want them answered?

We all pray for what we desire. However, in my experience, it often seems that I receive very little of what I have asked for, at least in the way I wanted it to be answered. Does that mean that Jesus did not hear my prayer? Do I only believe in Jesus if He answers my prayers exactly as I specify?

Yes, we need to ask and pray to Jesus for what we need and desire. But, we also need to have a broad perspective. Instead of impatiently waiting for the answer to our specific prayer, we need to be open and listen deeply. Jesus will answer our prayer, however, our answer may have a different “take” or direction that we may not have anticipated. Thus, we need to be open and trust Jesus to bless us and grace us as we truly need. Jesus will not disappoint us, even if we have to wait for a while. Will we continue to have open, hopeful, and trusting hearts?

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