16th March 2021

The Sacramental Life of the Church - St. James the Greater Catholic Church  - Augusta, KS


TUESDAY, FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Reading 1: Ez 47: 1-9, 12 Ezekiel describes his vision of water flowing from the Temple growing into a stream that flows into the salt sea which becomes fresh. Fruit trees of every kind grow along the banks of the river.

Gospel: Jn 5:1-16 Jesus heals a man who has been waiting thirty-eight years.


HEALING POWER OF THE SACRAMENTS

The pool at Bethzatha was a spring of hope for many. This is why those who were sick and suffering, gathered around this pool to be cured. They believed that by touching the water of this pool at a certain moment, they would be made whole. This was the hope that brought the sick person in the gospel of today to the pool.

He was longing for someone to carry him to it that he may be cured. Jesus saw that this man had enough faith to be cured, even though he didn’t yet know the one who had the power to cure him. Through this unenlightened faith however, this man, who was sick for thirty-eight years, experienced the true spring of healing waters in the person of Jesus.

Even today, the miraculous grace of God is present among us; and all of us have an opportunity to encounter it. We are invited to experience the healing touch of Jesus through the sacraments. In Baptism, we are reborn as children of the heavenly Father. At Confession, we are cleansed of all our sins. And in the Eucharist, we receive the source of life. The sacraments bring true healing in our lives and lead us to experience God’s bountiful love. They are, for us, springs of hope.

Furthermore, unlike the man in the gospel, we already enjoy an enlightened faith; we know who it is that has the power to save us. Yet, like that man, we can suffer a paralysis, a paralysis of faith. We can be so negligent of nurturing our spiritual life, that weakened by sin, lethargy and selfish desires we are unable to reach the healing pool, despite being physically present at the celebration of the sacraments. But, even a soul in such a state is not lost. Jesus himself comes with his grace. He only needs us to be aware of our need of healing and attentively listen for his coming, that we may hear him and be healed.


Responsorial Psalm: Ps 46: 2-3, 5-6, 8-9 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.


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