AFTER HIS TWO-DAY STAY IN SICHAR, Jesus proceeded into Galilee. His arrival attracted much attention, for pilgrims from Galilee had witnessed what He had done during the Passover in Jerusalem.
Especially interested in Christ’s return was an official at Capernaum whose son was suffering from a deadly fever. He knew of the works Jesus had performed in Judea; and when he heard that He had returned to Galilee, he hastened to Christ at Cana, where He was stopping, and begged Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son, who was then at the point of death.
Chiding half-hearted believers, Jesus said:
“Unless you see signs and wonders, you do not believe.”
The official was insistent, urging Jesus to come with him at once before his son died. But Jesus said:
“Go thy way, thy son lives.”
As the official returned to Capernaum the next day, he was met by his servants, who told him that the fever had left his son at the seventh hour of the previous day, the very time at which Jesus said, “Thy son lives.” And he and his whole household believed in Jesus.
Jesus was received with honor in the synagogues; and He preached the gospel of His kingdom, saying:
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.”
In the synagogue at Nazareth He was invited to preach on a text from Isaiah. Accepting the roll, He read:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He has anointed me; to bring good news to the poor He has sent me, and to proclaim to the captives release, and sight to the blind; to set at liberty the oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of recompense.”
Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. And while the whole congregation looked on with interest, He began to preach, saying:
“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Meditation: The official for whom Christ worked this miracle was in trouble; his son was dying. The father had heard before of Jesus, whose fame spread throughout Palestine. Perhaps he had witnessed the Savior’s earlier miracles. But neither His fame nor His miracles had moved the official to have faith in Jesus. His own distress, a tragedy in his own family, was the occasion that brought him to Christ. Sickness, death, accident, loss of fortune-these are often blessings, be because they bring us closer to God. Do I see in the tragedies=large or small-in my life the hidden hand of a merciful God?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 33-34. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.