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


Our first reading from Isaiah points to a new future for Jerusalem as the world will be made new, indicating that God is always at work renewing, creating and offering possibilities. The choice is ours to respond. We can welcome this freshness and rejoice with confidence in God’s generosity, or we can dismiss or ignore the opportunities.

How we long for ‘joy’ for Jerusalem and ‘gladness’ for her people in these days of suffering and strife as we watch what is unfolding in Gaza and in the Middle East. Let us continue to hope and trust in what is possible if we have the courage and pray for the grace to let go of the past.

Our Gospel from John records a miracle that is born in faith and trust. The official asked Jesus to heal his son, and we note that Jesus’ initial response, ‘so you will not believe unless you see signs,’ seems to be challenging the official and others in the crowd. However, the official persists with his request and then comes up with a response in the affirmative, which is enough for him to begin his journey home. While on his way home, the official’s trust and faith are rewarded by the miracle of his son’s recovery.

This Gospel affirms faith, and we are invited and encouraged to grow in faith and trust. Oftentimes, in our lives, we witness signs and wonders, while at other times, we are invited to wait in trust, still believing that God is with us in the midst of our experiences even when there is no obvious sign or wonder. As we continue to pray for Jerusalem ‘Joy and Gladness’ let us pray that those on opposing sides can let go and move towards one another to create a new place of belonging for all which invites and challenges each one to respect the other – a big call yet possible with God’s grace.

Our prayer then might be: ‘Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.’

Let’s continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the Middle East,  trusting the promise of Isaiah.

Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,