16 March, Tuesday — The cost of healing

Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent

Eze 47:1-9,12
Jn 5:1-3,5-16 

Do you want to be healed?

There have been things I wanted, truly desired for myself, and I have had the time and/or ability to create or attain. A toned, fit body. A daily time for intentional bible reading and prayer. To bake for my family and others, and to consistently cook homemade meals five or more times a week. A vegetable garden. A flower garden. To play the piano. A growing savings account. I have – and still do want – all of these things (okay, cooking doesn’t excite me, I’d rather compliment the cook, so I no longer wish to be a great cook or baker). These are things that would positively affect my whole – daily – life. Yet I haven’t been willing to sacrifice to bring all these desired things into reality. WHY? Well, because these are things that must be maintained. These are not one-off things. There is discipline and sacrifice with these things. Just as there is discipline and sacrifice with anything of value, anything that brings lasting joy, anything that glorifies God. 

So when Jesus asks, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ the thought arises, ‘Why would he ask that? Of course the man wants to be healed’; but Jesus’ question isn’t just about the physical healing. It includes the responsibility of being healed. Jesus may very well be asking if the man – if I am willing to sacrifice my free will to God’s will. When Jesus heals, it’s not just for the minute or the day. This paralyzed man will now be able to ‘get up and walk’ every day. Is this man willing to get up and walk every day – am I willing to give my will up so that the Father’s will WILL be done EVERY DAY? Or am I simply wanting to give up my free will for this moment, or for the time being so that I get what I want now?  Right now.  

As Catholic Christians, we are called to WAIT ON God. This has never been easy, but it is more difficult in this ‘me’ age of technology. It seems like overnight technology and therefore, social media, has changed the center of the world. We have gotten used to ‘instant’ everything and we have gotten used to having it be ‘all about me’ all the time.  And in doing so, our lives are, and certainly our world is, more dysfunctional than ever. It will take more than a quick fix to change where we are headed. Through daily discipline and sacrifice, living for his Father’s will and not his own, Jesus changed this world and all eternity. So Jesus asks, “do you want to be healed?”. 

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)

Prayer: As Holy Week approaches Lord, we ask that we focus on You. That we intentionally reflect and imagine walking with Christ in the days leading up to Good Friday, leading up to our Saviour’s praying in Gethsemane, his arrest and his crucifixion. Father God, I pray we beg to experience this ending of the Lenten season in a way that transforms us in holiness.

Thanksgiving: We thank You Father, for this time to fall into your word, to fall into your love so deeply that we feel the sorrow of Jesus as he weeps for us and allows himself to be…slaughtered as the sacrifice for us. We thank you Father, that we know the resurrected Christ. 

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