March 24: Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Artus Wolfart, Christ at the Pool of Bethesda, Ontario Museum of Fine Arts, Toronto, 1620-30

Gospel: John 5:1-3, 5-16

Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk (NRSV, Jn 5: 8-9a).

Let us pray.

Father, so often healing comes about in our lives and we are not explicitly aware of how it is taking place. I am not referring now, Lord, to the usual physical healing that occurs following causes within the physical order of things. I mean the deeper spiritual healing that brings forgiveness of sin and which overcomes the alienation which always accompanies sin. This deeper spiritual healing often has effects as well within the physical order, effects which puzzle the natural scientist.

Before the coming of Jesus, no one recognized that we are called to share in your divine life, which life always brings healing to us. So many then have, through your Word, said “yes” to you, Father, at the depth of their being without being conscious of the full significance of their response. Such it was with our parents who preceded Jesus and our sisters and brothers who have come after him, never having heard his name or not fully understanding the gift that he shares with us. Even those who openly reject you, Father, and your Son, often do so out of confusion and really embrace you at their innermost being.

Your healing, Father, is accessible to all who accept your life even implicitly. It is available in a tangible way in your sacraments but, even when the sacraments are not to be had or are not appreciated; there is no moment in human experience that is not the saving moment.

Your healing power, made our own, brings forgiveness and new life. It overcomes the alienating effects of sin and is sufficient for us to greet death, with Jesus, as our hour of glory. No wonder then that spiritual healing often brings with it physical healing that confounds the wise of this world.

Father, you heal us and make us whole.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen

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