“Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honour in his own country. So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him.” (John 4:44-45)
Our first reading today paints a picture of paradise; no pain, no sorrow, nothing lacking, nothing missing. Isaiah says “no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.” Even though we are not there yet, Jesus’ coming as man has elevated our world such that whenever we receive answers to our prayers; we experience a little bit of paradise.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus visited Cana in Galilee where his first miracle was worked at a wedding feast. An official whose son was sick met Jesus pleading that Jesus would go with him to heal his son. Jesus said to him: “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” The official feared that the boy would die if Jesus did not come with him but Jesus assured him: “Go; your son will live.” John tells us that the “official believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way.”
The behaviour of this official is similar to that of Hannah who believed the word of the prophet Eli. In 1 Samuel 1:17-18, we read: “Eli answered: ‘Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have made to him.’ And she said, ‘Let your maidservant find favour in your eyes.’ Then the woman went her way and ate, and her countenance was no longer sad.”
Just as the official did not doubt Jesus and eventually received his miracle, Hannah went home happy and ate and the words of Eli came to pass. This teaches us that it is not the length or volume of your prayer that matters but the extent of your faith. Hence, Jesus taught us: “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22).
Given the sad condition of our country today; the abysmal failure of leadership, the economic meltdown, dilapidated educational structure, the state of insecurity and so on, some persons who were never called by God are now into the business of exploiting and stealing from gullible Christians in the name of prayer. In such places, you find Christians who subject themselves to various forms of abuse just because of their quest for miracles.
Child of God, you do not need the display of signs and wonders to believe. Place your complete trust in Jesus and not in any man or woman of God. If truly you believe that your prayers would be answered, God who sees your heart will reward your faith and grant what you ask. You do not need to go from one Church to another or run from pillar to post before your receive favours from God.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my faith. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 65:17-21, Ps. 30:2,4-6,11-13, John 4:43-54).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu