From now to Holy Week our gospel readings at daily Mass are mostly from the Gospel of John, which also provides us with the story of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday and many of our readings during Easter time, as we celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection.
In John’s Gospel what Jesus says and does are continuing signs revealing God through his Son.
“Your son will live,” Jesus tells the government official from Capernaum, who in today’s reading has come from Galilee to plead for his son who is near death. God wants life for us and so Jesus tells the official “your son will live,” and the deadly fever leaves him, even though he is far away.
Can we see in the father who pleads for his son’s life an image of the Father who wishes life for his only Son? Jesus affirms repeatedly his union with his Father. “The Father and I are one.” “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” It’s a theme we’ll hear often in these final days of lent. Jesus trusts in his Father’s love even in death.
God is not heartless before the mystery of death, our story says. He’s not less loving than the father from Galilee pleading for his son. The Father of Jesus, our Father, never wavers; he brings life to the world through his own Son.
John’s gospel was a favorite source for St. Paul of the Cross who sees our spiritual journey in the light of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have another life before us, so we must mystically die to this one. We’re called to rest in the bosom of the Father.
“I recommend to you never to rest in the gifts or the spiritual joy such gifts God bring, but with one sweet glance of faith and love journey further to God in nakedness and poverty of spirit, losing all in him, not looking back on your suffering or on any spiritual understanding you have, but rest in naked faith and pure love on the bosom of God, completely clothed in Jesus Crucified.” (Letter 914)
O God, let me rest in you
even now, before my earthly journey’s done.
For you bring me life even in death.
May I live
through the merits of Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen.