Aftermath of a Conversion

(from the 2010 Magnificat Lenten Companion)

The royal official who approaches Jesus to request the healing of his gravely ill son serves King Herod in Galilee. This same Herod will, on the day of Jesus' death, treat him contemptously and march him back in mockery to Pilate with an elegant robe wrapped around him, amusing Pilate by this gesture. This adds poignance to Jesus' words today: "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." On Good Friday, Herod hopes to see signs of miraculous wonder from Jesus, but the encounter turns quickly to scorn. Was this royal official of today's Gospel a witness to this? Earlier, when Jesus met him desperate for his son's life, Jesus performed the cure, and the man became a believer. Never, however, does any story in the Gospel end with the telling. One can speculate that this official must have undergone great distress at the derisive actions of his corrupt royal master toward Jesus and the horrible Roman crucifixion that followed. One may expect that perhaps this man gave up his comforts and security and his position of prominence, unable to betray his newfound faith. It is a story that continues until now for souls who come to see, sometimes in the settings in which they live and work, that they cannot compromise their commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and his Church.

Reflection based on John 4:43-54
Father Donald Haggerty

Merciful Father, may I be courageous always
in bearing witness to the truth of your Son Jesus and
of his love for all people.

Today's suggested penance: Pray the rosary with the intention to renew your Marian devotion.