March 8, 2016

March 8

March 8, 2016:  Tuesday, 4th week, Lent

  • 'Angel' pin:  Angel brought Ezekiel to temple entrance (1st reading)
  • 'Fish' pin:  Wherever the river flows, there shall be abundant fish (1st reading)
  • '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)
  • 'Leaf' pin (just broke; see here):  Their leaves shall serve as medicine (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Bethesda pool at the Sheep Gate (gospel)
  • 'Walking person' tie pin:  "Rise, pick up your mat, and walk" (gospel)
  • Blue shirt:  water (all readings)
  • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season

Pope/curia retreat (Fr. Ermes Ronchi)
Before Peter professed his faith in Christ as Son of God, Jesus asked the disciples who they thought he was:  Jesus wasn't suggesting replies based on what he or others were saying about him but instead urged his apostles to look inside their hearts.  Jesus wants to know whether his disciples have opened their hearts to God living inside them; our hearts can be God's cradle or tomb.
Jesus warned his apostles that following him is an appointment with a man on the Cross.  Christ spilled his own blood, not others'.  We're the mediators between God and humanity.  Like John the Baptist, we must prepare the way, then step aside. A church that shines the spotlight on Christ, not herself, is beautiful, but we still have a way to go....
  • 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.”
  • 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.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The water fountain":  The 1st reading is Ezekiel's prophecy of the miraculous, world-changing river flowing from God's Temple; the gospel is about the miraculous healing pool of Bethesda. The Lord has done and has promised to do his greatest works through water. The waters of Baptism are among his greatest works.  Our most important decision is to live our baptism by giving our lives to Jesus.
      St. John of God saving the sick
      from Royal Hospital fire/ Moreno
    • Passionist:  Jesus tells the man to pick up his mat and walk on the Sabbath, giving the Pharisees reason to condemn them both.  The man had been ill for 38 years, waiting to be helped into the pool for healing, but he was pushed out of the way and had no one to put him in.  Those words reprimand the community for not caring and reprimand the Pharisees for disregarding the spirit of the law (not caring for the sick).  By curing the man on the Sabbath, Jesus was drawing attention to what he was doing; curing the sick is more important.
    •  "Walk and sin no more":  God gave Ezekiel a vision of rivers of living water flowing from God's throne to bring healing and restoration to his people.  We begin to see its fulfillment when Jesus announces the coming of God's kingdom and performs signs and miracles in demonstration of its power.  One sign was at the pool by the temple, where Jews brought sick relatives and friends to be cured.  The lame man Jesus stopped to speak with felt helpless because nobody helped him into the pool.  Jesus offered him total healing, first awakening his faith, asking, "Do you really want to be healed?,"  then ordering him to "get up and walk!"  The man took Jesus at his word, stood up, and began to walk.  The Lord approaches us with the same question, "Do you really want to be healed, forgiven, set free?  The first step is the desire for change.  The Lord won't refuse anyone who asks for his pardon, mercy, and healing.
      • Senanbishop, apostle of Ireland, monastery founder; see Clare Library's article.
      • Duthac, bishop

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