Readings for Tuesday April 5, 2011
First Reading: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 46
Gospel: John 5:1-16
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. (Jn 5:1-9)
When we look at retired professional athletes, especially people from contact sports like boxers or hockey players. We see men and women who have went through gruelling and harsh careers. What they are usually left with is a tired broken body with many scars and other reminders of the pounding they took during their careers. We too are much like these retired athletes, spiritually and emotionally bruised and broken after a lifetime of the world beating up on us. It is no wonder why so many people in the world lose hope, and instead turn towards a life of despair and bitterness.
In today's gospel we see someone who had lost hope. The man who had been ill for so long sat by the porticoes for thirty-eight years. All he wanted was to be well, but had no one to help him, no one to give him hope. Then along comes Jesus, who simply asks, "Do you want to be well?" And this is the question that Christ brings to each one of us. So many of us like the ill man have lost hope, and just accept our circumstances for what they are; but Christ comes asking us if we want the change we all so desperately seek.
No matter how many times life has knocked you down or beaten you up, we must remember that nothing can take away the fact that we are all children of God, and each and every one of us is loved more than we can possibly know. Christ is here now offering the hope we need, how will you respond?
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for the many gifts you give to us. Lord, all hope comes from you, may all of our hope and trust be in you and in nothing else. You are the way, the truth, and the life; help our lives reflect your light into this dark world. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.