Do you want to be well?
Day Twenty Four of Lent: Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – John 5
“Do you want to be well?” -Jn 5:6
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Yes or no questions should be easy but have you ever noticed how difficult they actually are? We often feel as though we should say more – fill the void or justify a position. 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 his own litany about why he cannot 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 just walk away and move on to someone else. Thank goodness we serve a patient and gracious God.
In our Lord’s great 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 him anyway giving him exactly what he needs. This is one story of several that serves as a reminder of how Jesus wants to know what we want – if we want to be healed of what ails us. In other words, are we willing to do what it takes to get healed? If the Lord told you that in order to be healed it would cost you something; you would have to sacrifice and offer unwavering faith and devotion to Him, what would you say?
Day 24 Lenten Meditation
At some point today, take out a piece of paper and write down the answer to the question ‘Do you want to be healed‘. Be honest with yourself and with Jesus, because He already knows what you would be willing to sacrifice anyways. When we start to focus on the question of what we need, and when 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 ‘Yes‘ but rather ‘I don’t know … maybe later‘. The question was clearly not easy for the man of Bethesda either. But let this reading serve as a reminder that when Jesus asks you if you want to be healed physically, emotionally or spiritually, get up and say YES! but have the courage to tell Jesus that you are willing to do whatever it takes.
Additional Readings Today
John 5:1-16; Ezek. 47:1-9
Almighty Father, please open our hearts to accept the gift of Your limitless love and goodness. Release us from all limitations, physically, emotionally and spiritually, so that we may enjoy the bounty of Your goodness and then share that infinite love with those around us. You are a God of patience and love and we thank You for answering our prayers even when we have fallen short in promptly following You. Thank You for providing, healing, forgiving and loving us in spite of ourselves. It is in Your good and holy Name we pray, 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. If you need to be healed in some area of your life, tell Him that you are willing to do whatever it takes.
“God asks little, but He gives [us] much.” –St. John Chrysostom