Daily Reflection for Tuesday March 16, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Responsorial: Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
Gospel: John 5:1-16
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
“Do you want to be well? (John 5:6)
This Lent I’ve been blessed to participate in a weekly Zoom gathering to reflect on a wonderful book, A Friendship Like No Other, by William Barry, S.J. The startling thesis of the book is that the infinite God of the universe loves us so much that He desires a one-on-one, personal friendship with each of us. God lovingly created us as unique individuals and placed us precisely in our own moment and circumstances. Our own daily life is where God desires to meet us.
The book is rooted in Ignatian spirituality, which invites us to enter a scripture passage or a prayer experience using our imaginations.
Today’s gospel tells us the story of Jesus encountering a man who has lain beside Jerusalem’s healing Bethesda pool for 38 years without ever being healed. In that era, the man had been an invalid for his entire lifetime. Why did Jesus single out this particular man among so many other invalids with the question, “Do you want to be well?”
And why did the man not instantaneously respond, “YES”? Instead, the man passively blames his unfortunate circumstances. No one will help him. He really cannot change on his own.
Two things strike me in this story:
- Jesus notices this particular man
- Jesus negates the man's excuses and empowers him to begin a new life: Rise, take up your mat, and walk
I can easily identify with this paralytic. I have all sorts of reasons why I “can’t” change the unsuccessful strategies and habits that hold me back from new life. Yet Jesus cuts through all of that. The combination of the man’s own response and Jesus’ power results in his healing. Instantly Jesus restores God’s dream for this man.
This Lent God invites you and me to a new place of wholeness, the dream that God has envisioned for each of us all along as his beloved sons and daughters. What dream might God have for you in your own particular life circumstances right now? Something healing for yourself? Something healing in a relationship? Something healing in your local or church community?
Imagine Jesus asking you personally:“Do you want to be well?” What is your response? What might you need to change this Lent to open yourself more completely to God’s healing power?
Wishing you God’s healing Lenten blessings,