Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator
Both the reading from Ezekiel and the reading from the Gospel of St. John illustrate the life giving-powers of water, the essential nature of water for animal and plant life. St. John portrays the healing powers of water as well. These readings are obviously preparing us for the celebration of Easter sacraments in which the catechumens will be washed clean and will be incorporated as members of the Body of Christ.
The story of the man at the pool of Bethesda relates to our experience in CUSA more than most of the healing stories of the Gospel because of the man's situation. He is not able to move to the pool quickly enough when the water is stirred to benefit from his salubrious effects. He needs assistance. Thus he has spent some thirty-eight years waiting for the gift of healing.
None of us likes the notions that we are dependent upon others. Part of the psyche of the American culture is that we would rather be independent. This cultural character may work for part of our lives, but eventually we will be asked to let go of our independence and accept the charity of others. We will come to a day when we can no longer drive a car, when we can no longer manage our medications, when we can no longer safely live alone. It is at those times that we can recall the man at the pool of Bethesda and the assistance he received from Jesus. If we keep in mind that Jesus acts through the members of his Body, today's Gospel passage will be reenacted in our own lives.