Meditation for Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent


First Reading: Isaiah 49:8-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18
Gospel: John 5:17-30
 
Jesus is very much the faithful steward of God the Father, for he does nothing on his own that he did not see the Father do, and he does not do his own will but the will of the One Who sent him.  If you reflect for a few moments on some of the miracles that Jesus did in the Gospels, this will become apparent.  For example, the multiplication of loaves and fishes is merely a speeding up of the process that has populated the seas with multitudes of fish and the fields with grain enough to feed nations.  Likewise, another example is the turning of water to wine – God the Father turns water into wine all the time, through the pouring of water into the earth around the grapevines, and then the grapes are crushed and fermented.  Jesus just took out the middle steps.
 
Something else to notice about Jesus, though, is his statement, "I cannot do anything on my own" (John 5:30a).  Just as Jesus will not impose his own will upon the Father, he (as the mediator between us and the Father) will not impose his own will upon us, unless we ask it of him (as he did in the Garden of Gethsemene – "Not my will by thy will be done.").  Jesus would like us to follow the Father all the time, and when we ask it of him, he sends his Holy Spirit to guide us on the way.  This guidance is important for the other understanding of Jesus’ statement above – he not only wants us to do the Father’s will, but he desires our help to get it done.  Back to our prior examples, Jesus performed the miracle of the loaves and fishes, but he required first that the disciples get the 5 loaves and 2 fish to start the whole process.  With the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus was not going to do anything at all, until his mother asked him (a scene we should always keep in mind for special requests – Jesus is a good son who will not deny his mother any good thing).  After that, Jesus still required the wait staff to fill the earthenware jugs with water.
 
Jesus wants the prisoners rescued, the ones in darkness to come out, the lands to be restored, and the dead to rise.  He wants these things because they are the will of the Father, but he needs our help in order to get them done.  This is why he favors us by answering our prayers, healing and rescuing us, and blessing us with an abundance of talents and treasures – he wants us to use them to help those who have not yet been helped.  The blessings are passed on to us and the judgement spared, so that we may bless others and spare them from the judgement as well.
 
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