FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Tuesday of Lent, April 2, 2019
WORD of the DAY
After this, 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: 1:9)
How shall I live this Word?
At the time of Jesus, a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, was famous with five porticoes where a large number of blind, lame, and sick were lying. It is interesting to learn that a man had been sick for 38 years and at the moment Jesus came, he was certainly lying there sad. Jesus, without preamble, asks him if he wants to be well. That poor fellow, who knows with what pain, makes it known to the Lord that he is there alone: he has no one to help him when the pool water is agitated, to promptly plunge him into it.
Certainly he wants to be well, but he is alone, he has no family, relatives, friends, but Jesus sees him. With simplicity and openness of heart, He questions him: “Do you want to be well?” His answer shows the evident drama of this poor patient: no one grasps his ardent desire, impossible to come true and the patient sinks into his solitude, without any one to help him. It is Saturday: for the Jews the day is totally sacred to God with consequent abstention from all work. It is Saturday: Jesus grasps the close relationship of this day with a total abstention from all work, because only the glory of God triumphs, which always coincides with the true good of human beings. Here, Jesus heals the sick man and encourages him to live the consequence immediately. “Rise up, take your mat, and walk.” It is at this point that the severe disapproval of the scribes erupts: on Saturday no work is allowed, therefore not even that of helping a man be freed from his illness?
Here Lord, You teach that even the Sabbath was willed by God so that humankind would have space and time to dedicate to the glory of the Creator and to rest, for the good of us His Creatures. Help me to live well Sundays and public holidays. May it be a praise of Your glory and a serene flow of peace in me, in my family, in places of encounter, of communication, of communion.
THE VOICE OF Bishop Tonino Bello, holy priest
Here is what counts for a Christian: God in heaven and the Bible on the one hand; humans, earth, and pressing needs on the other hand. _____________________________________________________________________________
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA