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Monday, March 30, 2020

Reflection: 2020-03-29 Monday 4th Week of Lent

Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30; John 4:43-54
(I mistakenly reflected on the Fifth Monday of Lent last week. So I decided to reflect on the Fourth Monday today).
The First Reading shows us how God comforts his people in the midst of their destruction. He promises to create new heavens and a new earth; the things in the past will not be remembered. This is what forgiveness is: It makes something new and the sins we have done will be forgiven. Which is why Isaiah said Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. There will be no more weeping, no more cry of distress, there will be long life. In short, there will be healing when we come to the Lord and seek him.
The Responsorial Psalm reminds us, God cares. He rescues us from death. This is what Jesus shows in the Gospel, that heals the son of the royal official. Despite the plea of the official to Jesus to come with him to his house, Jesus spoke the word and the son was healed. This event shows us two things:
  1. Jesus wants to heal people. Repeatedly in the Gospel stories, we see Jesus healing. There was an instance when there were so many who were sick that people had to cast or thrown the sick before Jesus.
  2. Things happen by the word of Jesus. While we are expected to cooperate with God, things happen because God, in his wisdom, wills it or allows it. The sufferings we encounter today, this pandemic, the deaths and chaos it creates, happen because God allows them. We cannot know why God allows these things to happen to us personally. But we know these are calls to draw nearer to God.
God cares. He has shown us he wants to heal us. He has shown us he can heal us, that he has power to heal us. In our situation today, while the pandemic is a horrible situation, there is a much worse situation than the pandemic: that is rejection of God.
This rejection of God robs us of what God wants to give us. The first reading shows God wants to make us new. He wants to give us a life of joy, of peace and healing. Yet, many reject this life, preferring to work things out themselves, thinking that they can attain these by their own works. The truth is, these things are God’s gift. We are to just come to God and ask for it and God will give it to us.
The sad thing is many do not want to come to God, for many reasons. They claim they do not believe in God. Some think they have done evil things that God cannot forgive them, and so they carry this burden in their lives, for years, for decades, even until they die. Some do not think there is someone who will love them as they are. These make people reject God, or at least avoid him. The sad thing is, the solution to this guilt, to the distress and destruction in their lives is simple: Come to Jesus and let him take charge of our lives. God has promised this, and his Word is true. Jesus shows this in the Gospel.
Lord, here I am, I want the life you have planned for me. I turn to you and submit my life to you. Take and be the Lord of my life.

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