Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Even if you stumble, you’re still moving forward

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” - C.S. Lewis

Gospel text: (John 5:1-16)
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a Sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk?'"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a Sabbath.

Jesus' question to the man at the pool can be re-phrased from "Do you want to be well?" to "Do you want to live your Baptism?"

The sick man changed the subject to avoid answering Jesus' question. He talked about no one helping him and about being a victim of circumstances. When we are asked on Easter to renew our baptismal promises at Holy Mass, will we also change the subject? We will if we haven't let God change our hearts. Will we try to evade Jesus' question by talking about the weaknesses and hypocrisy of other Christians who should be supporting us? Will we blame our parents and families so as to portray ourselves as victims of circumstances? Or will we honestly admit that we want many things much more than we want to live our Baptism?

Don't change the subject like the man in our gospel passage today.

Jesus stands at your door (see Rv 3:20) and asks you: "Do you want to be healed?

Shout out your "Yes"!

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