4TH WEEK OF LENT
Psalter: Week 4 / (Violet)
Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
1st Reading: Ez 47:1-9, 12
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple and I saw water coming out from the threshold of the temple and flowing eastward. The temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the temple, from the south side of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around to the gate facing the east; and there I saw the stream coming from the south side.
The man had a measuring cord in his hand. As he went towards the east he measured off a thousand cubits; and led me across the water which was up to my ankles. He measured off another thousand cubits and made me cross the water, which came to my knees. He measured off another thousand cubits and we crossed the water, which was up to my waist. When he had again measured a thousand cubits, I could not cross the torrent, for it had swollen to a depth which was impossible to cross without swimming.
The man then said to me, “Son of man, did you see?” He led me on further and then brought me back to the bank of the river. There I saw a number of trees on both sides of the river. He said to me, “This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul-smelling water, the water will become wholesome. Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful; and the seawater will become fresh. Wherever it flows, life will abound.
Near the river on both banks, there will be all kinds of fruit trees, with foliage that will not wither; and fruit that will never fail; each month they will bear a fresh crop, because the water comes from the temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing.
Gospel: Jn 5:1-16
After this, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now, by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there is a pool (called Bethzatha in Hebrew) surrounded by five galleries. In these galleries lay a multitude of sick people: blind, lame and paralyzed. (All were waiting for the water to move, for at times an angel of the Lord would descend into the pool and stir up the water; and the first person to enter the pool, after this movement of the water, would be healed of whatever disease that he had.) There was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him, and because he knew how long this man had been lying there, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
I HAVE NO MAN TO PUT ME
INTO THE POOL
One can almost see the frustration and maybe even despair of this paralytic who always comes late to the healing waters of the pool because there was no one to help him. And yet he kept on coming back day after day for 38 years hoping against hope that he could be healed. And then came his KAIROS. He still did not have anyone to help him into the pool, but this time he needed no one because the healer himself came to him and healed him. Sometimes God makes healing depend on the help of other people, maybe to encourage kindness, generosity, helpfulness and compassion. It is a grace not only for the people we help but for us also if we get the opportunity to be the instrument of God in healing people. Remember what Pope Francis said: ”The task of the church is not to make dogmatic and moral pronouncements but to heal wounds and warm the hearts of people.” I think this is the most beautiful way of expressing what Gospel (Good News) means. “Loving God, thank you for once in a while making me an instrument of your compassion in healing people and warming their hearts.”
Daily Reflection 2018
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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