Do you want to be well?


March 16, 2021 

Fourth Tuesday of Lent

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.  (John 5:1-9a)

How shall I live this Word?   

The heart of today’s Gospel is in the verse “Do you want to be well?”  It is Jesus who notices this man. It is He who walks the path to his mat. It is He who becomes aware of us, who is the first to address a word to us and ask the questions that go straight to the heart, the true ones. It is Jesus who passes by us and puts the desire to be well back into our heart. It is He who asks us if we want to be happy. And He does it by rekindling the ‘desire’ within ourselves. The frenzy of life, the routine of everyday life, distrust in others and in our own change lead us to get used to our mats, to remain thirty-eight years at the same point. The real disease this man suffers from is sloth. He is waiting for recovery, he complains, he is sad, pessimistic, condemned to loneliness and unhappiness. After having ignited the desire, Jesus changes register. He asks no more questions, He commands. Jesus said to him: “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” And instantly that man was healed: he took his mat and started walking. In certain situations of life only obedience can save us, that is, only listening which is transformed into action. When we are bogged down, standing still, we must either trust the One who can pull us out, or our reasoning will still keep us there in that mud, continuing to complain and point the finger at others. It is important to hand over what we are experiencing to someone whose sincere good and profound loyalty have been experienced on various occasions. The person can be the confessor or a trusted friend. Only obedience to Someone we can completely trust can help us to resume the journey. When we can’t do anything anymore, we can always trust Someone we care about, and listen to them. Only in this way can the miracle happen: to resume the journey! It is wonderful to think that God’s love is so great that it gives our life Someone to whom we can still tell about ourselves, someone who is still willing to listen to us, who is not tired of us.

Lord, don’t let me get used to the mats of my life and complain all the time. Teach me to listen and trust Your Voice that speaks to me in many ways: only in this way will I be able to resume the journey.

The Voice of  the Book of Wisdom (2: 16)

Those who fear the Lord do not disobey His words; and those who love Him follow His ways.”

E-mail:  Website:  Blog:   Comment by Sr. Vilma Colombo, FMA

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