Pondering for Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Daily office Readings for Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 61 and 62; Evening, Psalm 68;
Jeremiah 2:1 to 13Romans 1:16 to 25John 4:43 to 54:

“The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.” (John 4: 53 and 54)

Jesus has just complained about the people not believing unless they saw signs and wonders. In fact, he had just said this to this royal official and father of a dying child. I find it strange that the word faith is not mentioned in the Gospel of John in any English translation, at least not one that I have seen. My thought is that faith was too mild a word as a noun. The tellers of the Gospel of John wanted an action word, a verb. Faith is something you have, or don’t have. Believing is something you do, or do not do. What you believe is made manifest in your action or inaction; or is should be.  

I know that for me, I try hard to live into what I believe, which is based on my faith and I also have hope, a lot of hope.  Today we do not get to talk to a human Jesus. We do however, get to talk to a Risen Jesus. It’s the same Jesus. The signs and wonders still happen today.

The father in today’s reading verified his so-called belief by inquiring about the time the healing happened. When he got proof, he felt more comfortable in his belief. Perhaps this is not the way it should be. Maybe we first believe and then let science catch up. This is what Arch Bishop of Canterbury Anselm (1109) said: “I first believe in order that I might later understand.”  Faith, belief, trust and love must be first. Understanding comes later, in this life, or the next.

Sometimes however, science disputes what the ancient writings and what our predecessors have said, to wit: the earth is not flat, nor is it the center of a universe that revolves over it. But then I remember, the father in this story didn’t base his belief on the ancient writings but rather on the very word of our Lord Jesus. I pray too that I first believe and then let science substantiate my faith, hope, trust, love and belief. Thank You Lord Jesus.

Where are you in this story?  Do you believe first no matter what?

Today we remember Perpetua, Felicity and their Companions Martyrs at Carthage, 202.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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