The Gospel Today
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
At that time 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 the man 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.
Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)
Signs and wonders are truly instruments of conversion, especially during the time of Christ. Many have believed because they have witnessed Jesus give sight to the blind, give healing to the lame and the crippled, loosen the tongue of the mute, give dignity to the leper. Jesus healed all those who approached Him, not for them to be awe-stricken by the signs and wonders, but to show the mercy of God to His beloved people and for them to have true repentance and conversion in their hearts. Many have believed because they saw the miracles of Christ. Faith is the ‘effect’ of these signs and wonders of Christ. But how about those who have not seen His miracles yet believed? Their response of faith brought them to conversion.
Back in December 2010, I decided to go back home for the Christmas holidays after more than a year studying in the U.K. After experiencing Christmas in the U.K. the year before, coming home for Christmas was truly something to look forward to. It was also the wedding of my friend from Norway and they all flew to Manila for the wedding. My Christmas holiday in Manila was set. December 17, on my way to the airport for my flight, a snowstorm blew in. After long hours of waiting for the check-in and boarding, it was later announced that all flights were cancelled due to the bad weather. I was devastated. The weather did not let up for the rest of the week and what was worse was my flight was re-booked to the 22nd, too close to Christmas. I lost almost a week of my 3-week holiday. I monitored the weather the whole week and the weather forecast was not good. Severe snowstorms were forecast until the end of the year, meaning my re-booked flight was in danger of another cancellation.
I felt helpless. I prayed to God intently, asking Him to somehow stay the weather. I surrendered to God’s will. On the day of my flight, the snow was 16 inches deep in our porch and snow was continually falling. I kept praying. With my luggage ready, I braved the storm and traveled to the airport. Reaching the train station, many routes were cancelled due to the ice forming on the tracks. Hope was rekindled when the route to the airport was still operational. I boarded the train still praying for a miracle.
On the way to the airport, visibility was bad due to the weather but, surprisingly, nearing Birmingham airport, the snow started to let up until it stopped completely upon reaching the airport. I took it as a great sign from God considering that the whole of U.K. was on a standstill due to the severe snowstorm sweeping the country.
When I reached the airport, my flight to Frankfurt was not showing ‘cancelled’; rather, it was ‘check-in’. I was ecstatic and I could not help but thank God. Come boarding time, no announcement had been made yet. While some of the passengers were expecting the worst, I prayed. Twenty minutes later, the boarding call was made. My heart leapt for joy. Thirty minutes later, we were up in the air. Upon landing in Frankfurt, I was monitoring the weather and to my astonishment, all flights in the U.K. were cancelled an hour after we have left and it turned out, the cancellations continued until early January 2011. It was the worst snowstorm in the U.K. in decades.
I could not help but be grateful to God for showing me His miraculous signs and wonders. It was truly a huge blessing. God rewards those who hold on to their faith. He gave me another pleasant surprise. The week that I lost because of the cancellation I got back because the booking agent made a mistake in my ticket. My return flight was booked a week after my original date. I called my professor and she just laughed and told me to enjoy my one-week holiday extension. I took a leap of faith and surrendered to His will.
Entering the seminary is another leap of faith for me, but regardless of the results, whether in times of trials or abundance, blessings and sufferings, I will hold on to the faith. I will not be reliant on signs and wonders, but forever grateful to the surprises God has prepared for me in this path I started to tread.