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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Reflection: 2020-03-24 Tuesday 4th Week of Lent

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-16
The Gospel today shows us how a man who had been paralyzed for thirty eight years was healed. He lay on the miraculous pool at the Temple called Bethzatha because of its miraculous power, hoping to be cured of his illness. Jesus approaches him and asks him: Do you want to be made well? The man did not say yes. Instead, he shows how no one can help him get into the pool first so he can be healed. The man trusted in the powers of the pool yet, the One who has power to heal him is before him. Jesus then tells him to Stand up, take up your mat and walk. John tells us, At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.
We all hope for a solution to this pandemic. And like the man who was healed by Jesus, we need to remember that healing comes from God! While we believe and appreciate our medical professionals and researchers going to the extreme to help contain this scourge, we must remember, it is God who will eventually help us. The Psalm is very clear on this: The mighty God is our refuge. While we wait for the end of this pandemic, we may be afraid. Many have lost their income. Many have lost their loved ones. Everyone is suffering and it is normal to be afraid. Yet, the Psalm tells us: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea. This is a call to come back to God, to trust him. And even in the midst of all these upheavals, we trust in the Lord. Faith is not the absence of doubt and fear. Faith drives us beyond doubt and fear, towards the God who can save us.
Yet, many may not know how to trust the Lord. And that is understandable. The First Reading shows us being immersed in God is a process. The Prophet Ezekiel was led through the water, which at first rose to his ankle. Then he was led further to water that rose up to his knee, then to his waist until it came to a point where the waters are too deep and strong that no one can cross it. We are not expected to instantly have faith. God calls us the way we are and he calls us gently.
If you want to trust God but do not know how, take a small step towards God. It could be opening the Bible or going to the internet to read the verses of this day. If you are not comfortable doing this, do it in the privacy of your room. That is ok. The important thing is to do something beyond what you are doing now, to remind yourself you are moving towards God.
Do not be afraid. God loves you and he wants to heal you, to help you through this time of fear, of doubt and uncertainty. He is the only One who can help. If you do not know how to pray, then you may say this:
Lord Jesus, I do not know you. I do not even believe you can help me. And yet, I come to you, because I am desperate for something to comfort me, to calm me. Here I am, I surrender my life to you. I welcome you to my life. Show me what you want me to do. I trust you.
If you have said this prayer or wish to speak more about this, you may comment below or send me an email through this page.

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