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March 16, 2021

Jn 5: 1-16

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 

But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. 

Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Allowing Jesus to heal us

One of the most misunderstood Ignatian terms is indifference. Thankfully, today’s Gospel reflects indifference beautifully. The paralytic has been frustratingly dependent upon the pool for his healing, but to no avail. When Jesus offers to cure him, the paralytic does not simply submit to Jesus’ healing, but to Jesus’ authority.

In the paralytic we see an icon of indifference: he chose God over all things, and he chose submission to Christ over his own needs. When Jesus restores his ability to walk, above all Jesus enters him in the dynamic of the Suscipe: “Everything is yours, dispose of it according to your will. Give me your love and grace, this is enough for me.”

As we allow Christ to place ourselves in this Gospel, how is the Lord calling us? What “pools” is he asking us to let go so that he can heal us in ways beyond our imaginations?

Bill McCormick, SJ, is a scholastic of the USA Central and Southern Province in theology studies at Regis College in Toronto, Canada.

 

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I own and all I have, You gave to me, to you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours, dispose of it according to your will. Give me your love and grace, this is enough for me.

—Suscipe of St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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March 16, 2021

Jn 5: 1-16

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 

But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. 

Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Allowing Jesus to heal us

One of the most misunderstood Ignatian terms is indifference. Thankfully, today’s Gospel reflects indifference beautifully. The paralytic has been frustratingly dependent upon the pool for his healing, but to no avail. When Jesus offers to cure him, the paralytic does not simply submit to Jesus’ healing, but to Jesus’ authority.

In the paralytic we see an icon of indifference: he chose God over all things, and he chose submission to Christ over his own needs. When Jesus restores his ability to walk, above all Jesus enters him in the dynamic of the Suscipe: “Everything is yours, dispose of it according to your will. Give me your love and grace, this is enough for me.”

As we allow Christ to place ourselves in this Gospel, how is the Lord calling us? What “pools” is he asking us to let go so that he can heal us in ways beyond our imaginations?

Bill McCormick, SJ, is a scholastic of the USA Central and Southern Province in theology studies at Regis College in Toronto, Canada.

 

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I own and all I have, You gave to me, to you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours, dispose of it according to your will. Give me your love and grace, this is enough for me.

—Suscipe of St. Ignatius of Loyola


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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