Do you want to be well?
Day 28: Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – John 5:6b
Do you want to be well?
Additional Reading(s) today: John 5:1-16; Ezek. 47:1-9
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Yes or no questions should be easy, but have you ever noticed how difficult they actually are? We feel like we need to say more, fill the void, justify. In today’s Gospel message we see that this is apparently an age-old problem. The crippled man at the pool of Bethesda is asked a direct and simple question by Jesus, “Do you want to be well?” This man has been ill for thirty-eight years. You would think that he would have shouted, “YES!” But even with the Messiah in his sights and a healing touch only moments away, the man begins on his own litany about why he can’t get to the pool and how others beat him to it, and on and on. We find ourselves holding our breath, hoping that Jesus doesn’t move on to someone else who acts like they want to be healed. But He doesn’t. In our Lord’s great patience and mercy, He heals the man in spite of himself. In fact, we read that Jesus doesn’t even wait for the man’s full answer; He heals the man, giving him exactly what he needs. What is it that you need today? How will you answer the Lord’s question, “Do you want to be healed?”
Day 28 Lenten Meditation
At some point today, take out a piece of paper and write down the answer to the question above. There are no right or wrong answers of course. Be honest with yourself and with Jesus, because He already knows anyways. When we start to focus on the question of what we need and if we are prepared to do what it takes to be healed, the Holy Spirit will provide us with answers. We may even realize that for a long time, the answer to Jesus’ question wasn’t actually a “YES!” … but rather an “I don’t know … maybe … but what if…”. It clearly wasn’t easy for the man in Bethesda either. Part of our human nature maybe. Regardless, when Jesus asks you if you want to be healed, if you want to get better (physically, emotionally, spiritually), get up immediately and say YES! Tell Jesus you are willing to do whatever it takes … and then do it.
Almighty Father, please open our hearts to accept the gift of Your limitless love and goodness in our lives. Release us from all limitations, physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that we may enjoy the bounty of Your goodness and share Your infinite love with those around us. God of patience and love, we thank You for answering our prayers even when we have fallen short in following You. Thank You for providing, healing, forgiving and loving us in spite of ourselves. We love You. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Make an act of faith today, such as kneeling in prayer and telling God that you submit your will for His. Make sure that whatever you pray, you mean.
“God asks little, but He gives [us] much.” –St. John Chrysostom