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Monday, March 7, 2005

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Sts. Perpetua & Felicity

Isaiah 65:17-21
Psalm 30
John 4:43-54

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signs and wonders

"He and his whole household thereupon became believers. This was the second sign that Jesus performed." —John 4:53-54

Jesus promised signs and wonders would accompany those professing their faith (Mk 16:17). Notice signs and wonders do not create faith as much as faith creates signs and wonders.

Jesus disapproves of faith as merely an effect and makes it primarily the cause. He rebukes the people: "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you do not believe" (Jn 4:48). He called the royal official to believe before the healing of his son. Jesus even refused to visit the boy in critical condition, near death (Jn 4:47). Jesus only told the royal official: " 'Return home. Your son will live.' The man put his trust in the word Jesus spoke to him, and started for home" (Jn 4:50). Once the official believed, he saw a great healing. This resulted in greater faith for both him and his whole household (Jn 4:53).

Signs and wonders accompany and complement faith, not vice versa. Jesus does not try to dazzle us but rather leads us to a personal commitment to Himself. He calls us to focus not so much on the healing, as the Healer, on the wonder, as on the Wonder-Worker, that is, Himself.

Prayer:  Jesus, thanks for all Your healings and miracles, especially during this Lent. Thanks most of all for You. I love You.

Promise:  "There shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create." —Is 65:18

Praise:  Sts. Perpetua and Felicity's faithfulness until death was a sign and source of conversion to their executioners and the Church alike.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Developing a Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004