March 17, 2015


March 17, 2015:  Tuesday, Fourth Week of Lent / St. Patrick

Find 12 links to today's readings and celebration
(legend below)


Pope Francis homily
Ezekiel says the healing water grows from a trickle to a fish-rich raging torrent.  The paralytic at the pool was a little lazy, not having found a way to immerse himself, but Jesus healed him and encouraged him to go on.  Unfortunately the ensuing criticism still occurs today:  someone feeling sick in the soul, sad, who made mistakes, may come to feel the water stirring and gather the courage to go, only to find closed doors!  So what the Spirit creates in their hearts, Christians destroy.
The Church is the home of Jesus who welcomes all and goes out to see people just as he went out to the man in today's gospel.  When people are hurt, Jesus doesn't scold them but carries them on his shoulders; it's called mercy.  Don't shut the door to someone who wants to improve, to return to God because the Spirit stirred their heart!  Don't make the mistake of those who disdained Jesus’ love to the paralytic because it was contrary to the law.  May we be converted to Jesus and his mercy, so the Law—love of God and neighbor—will be accomplished.
  • Ez 47:1-9, 12  The angel brought me to the temple entrance, and I saw water flowing out, first a trickle, then ankle-deep, then knee-deep, then a river.  “Wherever the river flows, every creature shall live,  the sea shall be made fresh, fruit trees shall grow and bear fruit.”
    'Shamrock' word cloud
  • Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9  "The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob."  There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God; God is in its midst.  God will help it at the break of dawn.  Come behold the Lord's astounding deeds!
  • Jn 5:1-16  A man in the pool called Bethesda had been ill 38 years.  Jesus / man:  “Want to be well?” / “I have no one to put me into the pool; others beat me there.” / “Rise and walk.”  He did.  Jews / cured man:  “It's not lawful for you to carry your mat on the sabbath.” / “The man who made me well told me to. Jesus to man:  “You're well; don't sin.”  Man to Jews:  "Jesus healed me"; they started to persecute Jesus.
    • Creighton: Water is an important symbol of purifying and healing.  Jesus our living water flows more deeply as we grow in faith.  When we allow him in, we swim toward the ocean of his healing.  Once the apostles were involved after his crucifixion, the flow was greater as more were converted and spread the word we too have the opportunity to spread.  We see miracles but don't always see God in them; our faith helps us believe them.  We have miracles every day:  "I've seen dreams that move mountains, unending faith...  I've seen miracles happen, prayers get answered, broken hearts become new; that's what faith can do."  (What faith can doKutless)
    • One Bread One Body:  God heals us for service in his kingdom, a life of evangelization, worship, and holiness.  Jesus' healing is both spiritual and physical.   May I let him touch me with healing love for a life of service.
    • Passionist:  The man at the pool tells Jesus nobody will put him in, but maybe he was afraid (having seen someone drown)?  Ezekiel describes an overflowing river of grace transforming everything into abundant life.  Lord, help us remove excuses and appreciate your grace.
    •  God gave Ezekiel a vision of living, healing water flowing from God's throne.  We begin to see its fulfillment when Jesus announces God's kingdom and performs miracles demonstrating its power.  In the gospel, Jesus went to the temple and stopped at the pool where Jews brought the sick for dipping in the hope they'd be cured.  The lame man kept waiting though he had no one to help him in.  Jesus awakened his faith, asking, "Do you really want to be healed, [forgiven, set free]?," then ordered him to get up; he asks us the same.  The first step is desire for change....
    St. Patrick
    • Universalis:  St. Patrick, missionary bishop, Ireland patron saint, remembered for simplicity and pastoral care, humble trust in God, and fearless preaching to those who enslaved him in youth; see Wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia.
    • The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor:  St. Patrick, taken at 16 as slave, escaped in 6th year, heard God's call to convert the Irish; he did after 12 years in France of study and monastery visiting.  In Ireland he founded monasteries, schools, churches, and converted many to Christianity.  More about today's parades and river dyeing
    Dress legend
    • 'Angel' pin:  The angel brought Ezekiel to temple entrance (1st reading)
    • 'Fish' pin:  Wherever the river flows, there shall be abundant fish (1st reading)
    • Blue shirt:  water (all readings)
    • 'Ruler' tie bar:  angel measured successive 1,000 cubits (1st reading)
    • 'Tree' and 'apple' pins:  where the river flows, trees shall bear fruit (1st reading)
    • 'Shamrocks' tie, name tag, green beads (and socks) to commemorate St. Patrick
      • 'Walking person' tie pin:  "Rise, pick up your mat, and walk" (gospel)
      • Lenten cross (on lanyard), purple suspenders:  Lenten season

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