"Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth….”
In the First Reading, Isaiah reminds us that what we are getting ready for is something unprecedented. Lent is a preparation for the final days of Holy Week, called the “Sacred Triduum”. The Latin word triduum simply means “three days”. Within these three days, the Lord creates a new heavens and a new earth.
Our Gospel passage takes us one step closer to the Triduum. The passage hints at what Jesus is preparing to do for us, and why He would do so. The last verse of the Gospel passage tells us that this event was the “second sign”. There are seven signs that John relates to us in the first half of his gospel account (John 2-12). Each of these seven prepares us for the Triduum.
To reflect on today’s “second sign”, listen closely to the royal official’s request: what exactly does he ask for? He asks Jesus to “come down and heal his son.” Does Jesus grant his request? No and yes. Jesus does not go down, and the official repeats his request: “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus again does not go down, nor does He need to: He simply says, “You may go; your son will live.” This sign teaches us something about our expectations of Jesus, and the truth that Jesus does not need our expectations.