Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Lent
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 — John 5:1-16
March 16, 2010
Scripture readings from Holy Mass: CLICK HERE
Verse for Recollection throughout the Day:
“Then he brought me /
to the bank of the river, /
where he had me sit.”
Today’s Gospel passage narrates the “third sign” of John’s account. Each of these seven signs (from John 2-12) bring us closer to Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection.
This third sign is like the second in that Jesus demonstrates the immediacy of His divine power. The ill man explains that he has not been cured because he cannot reach the healing waters. But Jesus does not help the man into the waters. He does not even explain that the waters are unnecessary for the man’s healing. Jesus simply says, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
One of the unique marks of this third sign is that it is a turning point in John’s gospel account. The last sentence of the passage ominously tells us that it was because of this sign that “the Jews began to persecute Jesus[,] because he did this on a sabbath.”
A third point to notice about this narrative, and on which I ask you specifically to reflect, is that Jesus would not have been identified and subjected to persecution (at least, not this early) by the religious officials if He had not re-appeared “in the Temple area” to speak to the cured man a second time. And what does He say to him? “[D]o not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
Just as Jesus points the man’s attention away from the pool’s water towards His own divine power, so Jesus points his attention away from his physical ailment and towards the state of his spiritual health. It is for the sake of this attention that Jesus first becomes a subject of persecution.
What does Jesus want from me? What do I need to focus my attention on more squarely in my spiritual life?
Please pray for these intentions:
special intention of V.
special intentions of E.
special intention of M.
special intention of L.
special intention of S.
prayers for a 16-year old — D. — who is on the wrong path
special intention of J.
special intention of T.
special intention of R.
special intention of N.
repose of the soul of Father Richard Stuchlik
special intention of Father Hoisington
You are invited to submit your own petitions to Father Hoisington by means of the Reflections Facebook group, or to his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may either give a brief description of your intention, or simply list “a special intention”, after which your first initial would be listed. These intentions will be prayed for until Easter, unless you indicate a specific ending date for your prayers.
And please remember to invite your friends to join the “Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy” group on Facebook, or to follow the Reflections blog at: http://reflectionsonthesacredliturgy.blogspot.com/