Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
There was very popular game show on a few years ago called “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” Contestants had to answer questions and if you did not know the answer to a question you were given a lifeline, where you could call a friend who would help you. Our readings are about a lifeline, and the good news is that it is always present to us.
In our first reading from Ezekiel, we hear of the lifeline of water that begins as a trickle from the temple. As it flows out, it eventually becomes a river and everything the river touches teams with an abundance of life. This vision shows us what can happen when we reach for our lifeline in God.
In our Gospel, there is the man who has been sick for a long time as he waits by the healing pools of Bethesda. The man’s lifeline is right in front of him, and he does not acknowledge Jesus Christ. Our reading tells us that Jesus knew the man had been ill for a long time, so Jesus knows him. Jesus asks, “Do you want to be healed?” It would seem obvious that man wants to be healed after suffering for 38 years! The man does not respond with a firm “Yes” as you might think, he says, “There is no one to put me in the pool.” Jesus tells him to get up and pick up your mat and walk. The man does not thank Jesus for being healed; he just goes about his way. When the man is questioned by authorities of who healed him on the Sabbath, he simply replies as if he does not know Jesus. The man is healed, he has been given a lifeline, yet he fails to now Jesus.
What are we doing with the lifeline that is being given to us? What needs to change so we will be better? What are we waiting for? Do we trust Jesus enough to do what he wants us to do? May we grab hold of the lifeline because we have been warned.