Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
A common image in both of the readings for today is water. In the first reading Ezekiel has a dream in which he follows the stream that flows from the south side of the Temple altar across the Temple threshold out to the East. The further away he gets from the Temple, the broader and deeper the stream becomes until it is so deep and wide that Ezekiel cannot cross from one side to the other. That Temple water nourishes all kinds of life within it and along its banks and refreshes everything it touches, even the sea at the place they meet.
In the Gospel, John recounts an encounter between a paralyzed man and Jesus at the pool of Bethesda. The water in this pool had some of the life-giving powers of the water from the Temple described by Ezekiel. Whenever the water in the pool was "stirred up," the first person into the pool was cured of whatever malady he or she suffered. Jesus approaches a paralyzed man who had been trying to be first into the pool for some 38 years, but had never quite made it. Jesus asks him, "Do you want to be well?" The man responds by telling Jesus of his inability to get to the pool in time. Jesus tells him to take up his mat and be well. And, he was! Jesus himself becomes the source of healing and nourishment. Encouraged by today’s Word of God to us, we pray that we can trust in and welcome the refreshing, life-giving, love of God that comes into our lives through Jesus.
Fr. Michael Higgins, C.P. is the director the Development Office for Holy Cross Province and is stationed at Immaculate Conception Community in Chicago.