Clearly, the theme of today’s Gospel is faith. It was the unwavering faith of the official that brought healing to his sick son.
But there was a process to his faith, a progression in his faith which I want to point out.
When the official first met the Lord, he had faith in the works of the Lord. This was because he had heard about how Jesus changed water to wine. He learned about the miracles Jesus performed in Jerusalem during the feast. In short, he had heard of the miracles and the wonders made by Jesus Christ. So his faith flowed from knowledge of the wondrous works attributed to Jesus.
With this kind of faith, the official approached Jesus, who responded by curing his son. But then the official’s faith underwent a transformation after the miracle took place. From simply believing in the works shown by Jesus Christ the official progressed to having faith not only in the works but also in the person who did the works.
It was a very, very important turn in the faith progress of the official. From faith in the works to faith in the person, Jesus Christ.
We too should aspire to move our faith from faith that is centered on accomplishments, to faith in Jesus Christ. Why?
Because Jesus Christ does not come to us simply to make wonders.
If our relationship with God is based only on his granting us things, listening to our prayers, or giving in to our wishes, then if we do not receive the things we ask for, we sulk. We, then refuse to go to Mass because in our mind God did not heed us. We lash at him for denying us a very simple favor. We feel that our going to Mass daily has come to naught because God has not heard our petition.
That is faith in works. Therefore, if the works stop, faith also stops.
But the challenge for us is to believe not only in the works of Jesus Christ, but in the person of Jesus Christ, because the person will always be there.
Favors granted or not granted, petitions heard or not heard, the person of Jesus Christ will always be there. Therefore, if your faith rests on the person of Jesus Christ, then even if you are faced with a difficult life, crises and problems; if your prayers seem to remain unanswered; you will still possess a faith that is constant, consistent and persevering. With or without works, you believe in Jesus Christ. Your faith is not on what Jesus does for you, but your faith is in His being Jesus Christ.
We will ask the Lord for this kind of faith during this Mass. Some of us are here for varied reasons. Some of us are here to seek the granting of petitions. Some of us are here to ask to be spared from troubles. Some of us are here to pray for inner peace. Some of us are here to pray that our sins be forgiven. But the real reason we should be here is not for the works that God can do for us. Our reason for being here should be because of one person, one very important person, Jesus Christ. Let our faith move from faith in works, to faith in the person; to faith in Jesus Christ.
I BELIEVE IN JESUS
Only Jesus, Always Jesus