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BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE

Father Francis's picture
Fourth Week of Lent

Is. 65:17-21 & Jn. 4:43-54

The coming of an era when redemption would begin with the death and resurrection of Christ was foretold by Isaiah, and in today's Gospel we see the court official experiencing the start of this redemption.

Is it true that when we meet trouble our initial reactions are almost always negative? We feel frightened, helpless and insecure. We ask, 'Why me?' We wish it had never happened and, most of all, that it would go away. Yet trouble can be the means of drawing us closer to Jesus as exemplified by the court official.

He was in great anguish because his son was desperately ill. Presumably he had tried every known remedy without success. He had heard of Jesus' reputation, so when he knew He was in Cana a message was sent asking Him to come and save his son. The man trusted Jesus enough to do as He told him, and simply to go home.

Not only was the child’s life saved but the court official and his whole family were converted. This might never have happened if the child had not suffered a serious illness. That illness was a blessing in disguise. The father discovered that when all else failed Jesus could help him.

We live in an imperfect world and none of us can escape trouble. In some cases the problems can turn people away from God because they feel hurt, angry and unloved. Life is unfair. They say, 'How can God be a loving Father if He treats His children like this?' But if we turn away from Him we prevent Him giving us the help we need. The difficulties we face are not sent by God but when they come our way He can certainly help us to cope.

The father in the Gospel story realised this and God wants us to call on Him when we are in trouble. Our friend Jesus may not always lift the burden from our shoulders but we can be sure that He will help us to carry it. In this way our faith in Him is strengthened.

We thank You Lord not only for the good things in life but also for the troubles which come our way. Trouble can prompt us to turn to You, and with Your help we learn to how to cope and so draw closer to You.

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