FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
MARCH 21, 2023 Fourth TUESDAY of Lent
SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH
WORD of the DAY
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath. (John 5: 1-16)
“How shall I live this Word?
The condition of paralysis expressed today by the Gospel of John expresses very well what can happen to the disciple of Jesus. We are at the pool of Bethesda, a word that means ‘House of Mercy’. Jesus meets a paralytic who no longer seems to have faith in life, in mercy. This man is stuck; he has forgotten even his desire to be healed and has settled into his immobile condition, complaining and throwing the blame on others. He lives a sort of survival made up of complaints that makes life grey, sad, lazy. Sloth is his name.
Luckily Jesus does not resign Himself to his and our resistance and comes to meet us in the places of our paralysis. He invites us to restart from the desire to be healed by taking our past into our hands, what prevents us from getting up again. Healing is possible if you find that desire, if you don’t let yourself live by the disease. In some moments of life, it can happen that we are no longer able to go on, we don’t understand what we want, the motivation goes out. Let’s not stop! Let’s take our lives in hand, cultivate the desire for healing, and welcome Jesus’ invitation, “Take up your stretcher and walk.”
Lord, don’t let the desire for healing fade in me. Give me the light of Your Spirit for me to understand what resources I can use to get back on my feet and walk.
The Voice of Pope Francis Angelus Advent 1 2021
Vigilance means this: don’t allow the heart to become lazy and the spiritual life to soften into mediocrity. Be careful because you can be ‘sleeping Christians’. And we know that there are many, anesthetized by spiritual worldliness, without spiritual impulse, without ardor in praying – they pray like parrots – without enthusiasm for the mission, without passion for the Gospel. Christians who always look within, unable to look to the horizon. And this leads to ‘snoozing’: to carry things forward by inertia, to fall into apathy, indifferent to everything except what suits us. And this is a sad life. … Sloth is that laziness that makes one fall, slide into sadness, which takes away the zest for life and the will to do. It is a negative, bad spirit that nails the soul in torpor, stealing its joy!”
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Sr. Vilma Colombo, FMA