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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Ezekiel 47:1-12

Psalms 46:2-9

John 5:1-16

Many of us kick start our day with shower, or relax at the end of the day in a bath. Something as simple as being able to brush our teeth and rinse with water, or splash water on our faces to cleanse, these experiences are things we rarely think about for long because water comes in abundance to us in our homes.

If there was to be a water scarcity for a prolonged period of time, how seriously would we take water related activities?

Water as an image in the Bible has been used from Genesis to Revelation.

During the time of Noah, water was destructive but during the time of Moses, water was used to save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and even now water is used during baptism to signify being cleansed from our sins.

The readings provided today all mention water.

The First Reading mentions water issuing from below the threshold of the temple. The Psalm says, " The waters of a river give joy to God's city, " while today's Gospel passage talks about the pool of Bethzatha having healing properties and that it could change one's life.

The man healed by Jesus in today's Gospel passage sits on his mat waiting, watching and hoping that things will change.

But nothing seems to have changed in his life for 38 years despite sitting close to the pool that healed other people.

It seems that the pool of Bethzatha had a strong attraction or still has a strong attraction. We are normally attracted to things outside us. Have you ever been too close to what appears to be your moment of success but you still just remain too close and unsuccessful?

The pool of Bethzatha though physically present where it was located is like an illusion.

It convinces us that our life is nothing more than our circumstances. It makes us believe that life if to be found outside ourselves.

How comes that if the pool of Bethzatha had healing powers, Jesus never relied on it's waters to heal the man?

Jesus is passing the message that healing waters that bring order are found in us through our new way of thinking, seeing, acting, speaking and being. Let us see how this man thinks and acts. When Jesus asks the man, " Do you want to be made well? " , the man does not give a resounding yes, instead he complains that other people get into the pool ahead of him. This man shows no sign of faith in Jesus. He shows no gratitude after being healed . This man lives a life guided by the principle of: as soon as... I will...

You can fill the blanks with anything.

Jesus does not help the man get into the water ankle deep or knee deep as is the case with Ezekiel in the First Reading. He doesn't even seem to care about the waters of the pool.

In life and in faith we become what we embrace and without a firm inner belief we will just sit by the pool unless we stand up, take our mat and walk.


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