Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection March 11, 2024


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R/. I will extol you, Lord, for you have raised me up

V/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

V/.Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you.

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

At that time: Jesus departed [from Samaria] for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honour in his own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

1.      In life, there are certainly problems and suffering. No one is exempted from them. The kind and the degrees may differ but the fact remains. There are experiences of sicknesses, failures, losses, separations, and death. These are what we call the “boundary situations”. These often push us into disappointment, depression, emptiness, and hopelessness.

2.       It is in such moments, that our faith and hope in God come as the greatest rescue. The official in the gospel exemplifies such faith and hope. Even in such a hopeless situation of his son close to death, he confides in Jesus. Even when Jesus does not go personally to his house as he requested him but says only by word, “Go, your son will live”, he trusts in the power of Jesus’ word.

3.       True faith is trusting God not only when everything goes well. It is clinging to Him even when everything goes wrong. It is persisting to ask Him even when we don’t seem to receive. It is seeking Him even when He does not seem to be found. It is knocking at Him even when He does not seem to open.

4.       Thus, true faith is essentially hopeful. It hopes against hope. True faith believes in God’s unfailing love and mercy. It is convinced that God never fails in His promises and assurances. True faith hopes in the creation of “new heavens and a new earth” by God even amidst old and corrupted earth.

5.       Having faith does not mean that all the problems will disappear suddenly and magically. It is more a matter of a changed perspective. It is looking at things differently and confidently. It is facing adversities with reinforced strength and light. It is being able to remain calm even amidst a storm.

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