Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b
The miracle in today’s Gospel is called by John “the second sign”. John says that the signs in his Gospel are written so that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we may have life in Jesus’ name (John 20:31). Jesus himself affirms today that signs can lead the people to belief: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe”.
John records seven signs for us. The first part of John’s Gospel (chapters 1-11) contains six signs: the first sign is the changing of water into wine at the wedding at Cana (2:11); the second sign is the healing of the royal official’s son (4:54); the third sign is the healing of the paralytic on the Sabbath; the fourth sign is the multiplication of the loaves (6:14); the fifth sign is the restoration of sight to the blind man on the Sabbath (yesterday’s Gospel: ); the sixth sign is the raising of Lazarus (11:38-45). The seventh and final sign is found in the second half of John’s Gospel and is Jesus’ Resurrection.
Signs, however, point to something else, to something greater. In John 14:12, Jesus says: “He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father”. The greater works that we will be empowered to do are the Sacraments.
What is greater than changing water into wine? Changing wine into the Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. What is greater than restoring someone to physical health? Restoring someone to spiritual health in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What is greater than healing a paralytic? Being strengthened by the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Anointing. What is greater than multiplying loaves of bead and feeding the crowds? Changing bread into the Body of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and entering into communion with Jesus. What is greater than giving sight to the physically blind? Giving sight to the spiritually blind in the Sacrament of Baptism. What is greater than restoring someone to temporal life? Being raised by Jesus to eternal life.
The theme of eternal life is present in today’s first reading, taken from the Book of Isaiah. In it, God says that he is about to create new heavens and a new earth. This earth as we know it is passing away. The suffering, the weeping, the pain of this life will be replaced by rejoicing and happiness in the new and heavenly Jerusalem. In us, God himself will be eternally glorified. God will “rejoice in Jerusalem” and exult in his people.
Readers may contact Father Jason Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.