When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival. Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.
As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
St. Ignatius taught that we can enter into Christ’s life through imaginative prayer, and allow God to speak to us through our imagination. Contemplating today’s passage in this way, I imagine the moment the father leaves his son’s bedside to go find Jesus. What a hard decision that must have been! He gave up time with his son to beg Jesus for healing. I imagine him running through the streets, listening for Jesus’s voice, relieved when he finds him. Jesus’s words must have brought such hope to the boy’s father: “Your son will live”! What went through his mind as he ran home? Was he certain that his son had been healed?
Imagine the man walking through the door and seeing his son sitting up, eating, smiling! Imagine them breathlessly telling each other their stories and realizing the moment the fever left the boy was the same moment Jesus said “Your son will live”. God speaks to my heart through my imagination: I am filled with a desire to embody the active, loving faith of the father, and to joyfully receive God’s gift of healing.
What part of today’s story captures your imagination?
How does God speak to you through your imagination?
You Heal Us in Secret
You heal us in secret and silently,
when we but touch Your clothes;
You say our faith is the cause;
how is it You rely on
our faith for Your works?
You feed us in so many ways,
not the least of these being
when we reach
to touch the least of these,
to touch in love in Your name;
You ask us each to get up,
give us something to eat,
and send us to serve;
a hand will touch our clothes.
—Mary Ellen Smajo, published on ignatianspirituality.com