by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
As we try to listen deeply now to our Scripture lessons today, I think it’s important that we understand how in John’s Gospel, he uses what he calls seven signs, or miracles — big miracles or signs that make it clear who Jesus really is — and the passage that we heard today is the last of those signs and the most extraordinary.
If you want to try to understand what these signs are proclaiming, then it’s important to go back to a passage in Matthew’s Gospel where John the Baptist, imprisoned because he had spoken out against King Herod, was waiting his death [and] sent messengers to Jesus to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come? Or should we be looking for another?” So then Jesus, drawing from the 61st chapter of the book of Isaiah, says, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: how the blind have been given new sight, the brokenhearted are healed, and the dead are brought back to life.”
These are some of the signs that Jesus had been working. Remember a couple of Sundays ago, the story about the woman at the well, a woman who was deeply broken in spirit. Remember, she had had five husbands, broken relationships that must have left her a very wounded person, and Jesus brought her healing. He had made her a disciple. She went and told other Samaritans about him, and they came, and they, too, became believers as she had….