Tuesday, March 17, 2015

“Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.”

"In all the miracles of healing performed by Our Divine Savior, we must admire the remarkable goodness which caused Him to heal first the sickness of the soul, then that of the body. He teaches us the great lesson that we must first purify our consciences before turning to God for help in our earthly needs." – St John Bosco

Gospel Text: (JN 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.

Do you want to be well?

Of course, we would all say yes if we were in this man’s situation from today’s gospel and someone came offering us healing. Sadly, it’s easy to resign ourselves to a life of suffering, isn’t it? We can settle for just a “trickle” of grace in the form of quiet acceptance or just a little relief. But Jesus is standing before us every moment of every day, ready to unleash a flood of grace. He always loves. He always wants the best for us.

Sin paralyzes man, grows him old, kills him... We have to fix our eyes on Jesus. We need him —his Grace— to plunge us into the waters of prayer, of confession, of the opening of our spirit.

Our gospel today shares one of the many miracles that Jesus performed. I always am in awe that as Jesus performs all these miracles, there were still people who do not believe even though they were right there! In our lives now, we, no doubt, see miracles, yet we do not always see (or believe) the hand of God in them. For us, it is our faith that supports us in believing these miracles. We are not usually standing there while it happens and certainly not alongside Jesus as He performs such actions. Yet, I assert that we have miracles every day.

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