Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about the healing which our Lord Jesus gave to the man who had been paralysed and who was unable to move for many years, no less than thirty-eight years according to the Gospel. In the first reading, from the Book of the prophet Ezekiel, we heard about the vision which the prophet Ezekiel received on the great Temple of God in heaven, and how water streamed out of the Temple of God, giving life to all that the water passed through.
He saw how water flowed out of the great Temple of God, a great stream of water without end, which gives life and healing to all the fruits and trees that grew on the side of the stream. We know water is an essential part of life, without which we cannot survive and live. And in the Gospel today, water has an additional purpose, that is for healing, through the pool of Bethzatha, where the sick all assembled hoping to receive healing by touching the water that had been touched by the Angel of God.
No one helped out the paralytic man who had been lying there for thirty-eight years, looking for healing, because everyone else had always managed to go before him into the water and got healed instead of him. They ignored him and sought for their own healing and well-being first. That was why he continued to be there, and yet he never lost hope and waited for the time when he would receive healing and be rid of his ailment.
All those people who laid at the pool of Bethzatha, with ailments, sicknesses and diseases, all hoping to receive healing through the pool’s water, are in fact representative of all of us, brothers and sisters. Through sin, all of us have been defiled, corrupted and made sick in our souls, in our hearts, minds and also our bodies. We have been made unworthy to be in the presence of our loving God, as we are wicked and sinful.
And thus in our hearts, we have that longing to be healed and to be made whole, and we hope in the salvation found in our God alone. And indeed, as we see in the Gospel passage today, the Lord Who loves each and every one of us wants us all to be healed, and He showed His mercy and love, exemplified by what He had done to the paralytic man.
Yet, did we all notice that He sought immediately the one who had waited there for the longest among all others? The one who had had none to help him get to the water? This is the attitude which our Lord is calling all of us Christians to emulate and follow. We are called to look after our fellow brethren, especially those who are abandoned, ignored and unloved, all those who have no one to help them, the greatest of all sinners.
God is looking for the conversion of all sinners, that everyone who have sinned may find it in their heart to look for forgiveness and grace, by their sincere repentance and desire to be forgiven. He does not want anyone to be left out just because there is no one to help them. We are the ones who have been empowered and given the opportunities to help these brethren of ours who are in need. Just as God has forgiven us our sins, He will forgive them too, if they wish to repent from their sinful ways.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reflect on our lives and how we have lived through these lives we have. Have we ignored our fellow brethren and all those whom we could have helped on their journey towards the Lord? Shall we use this time of Lent to rededicate ourselves to help all those whom we have neglected and ignored? Shall we put our entire strength and effort to help all those who are in need of our love and attention?
May the Lord strengthen us all in our faith, and empower us all to be helpers and assistance to all those who are in need, that through our work together, we may be able to seek the Lord Who wants each and every one of us to be reunited and reconciled with Him, healed from all of our afflictions and sicknesses because of our sins. May God be with us all, now and forevermore. Amen.