Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6 8-9, John 5:1-16


A clean heart create for me, O God;
give me back the joy of your salvation. Ps 51:12A, 14A

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6 8-9, John 5:1-16

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12,

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

From the Temple of Your Body which was pierced on the right with a lance flowed life giving water.  It came out as a trickle but as it flowed it it over the Altar of Sacrifice it became ankle deep, and all those who come to it and are baptized are caught up in the mighty torrents of grace that pours out through the mighty power of Your Holy Spirit. When we commit ourselves to You without reserve and no longer trust ourselves or our ability but are carried along by faith we swim in the ocean of Your Love. You bring us to harbor. You ensure that we receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit which help us produce Fruit that will last. 

The sweet, fresh water of Your Love and Your merits flows into our lives and makes us like You. You emptied Yourself for our sake so we may receive the super abundance of Your life in us.  You enable us to bear fruit in season and out of season for Your glory and all who come to us experience Your goodness and are touched by Your glory and grace. You touch and heal through us because it pleases You to make us Your instruments and to work in and through us who are members of Your Precious Body, the Church.

Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6 8-9

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

You are my God, my refuge, mu strength. I call on You in the time of distress and before my cry has left my lips You are beside me. I need fear nothing. I need not fear the terrors that come in the dark night, nor need I fear if the earth trembles for You my God have promised to abide in me always. I believe in You and in Your Word which is true.

No calamity or disaster will overtake me for You keep me safe in the shadow of Your wings. You pour upon me streams of life-giving water. You quench my thirst, You feed and satisfy my hunger with Your own Precious Body and Blood. Having feasted on You I am made strong and invincible. I laugh with You at my enemies. For if You my Beloved are with me who can be against me. Even if I must undergo difficulties I know that You are with me and You carry my cross alongside me.

You are Emmanuel and Your Name is my safeguard and my protection.  All the wonderful things You have done for me in the past gives me the blessed assurance that You will continue to remain with me until You come to take me home to Yourself there to live with You forever.

John 5:1-16

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

We are told in today's gospel that there was a feast of the Jews being celebrated in Jerusalem and You were there looking for those who were forgotten, suffering, sick, at the Sheep Gate. There they lay waiting for a miracle that seemed to work only for those fortunate few who made it into the pool first, when an angel supposedly stirred the water.

You came there with the intention of seeking this particular cripple who had been lying there ill for thirty eight years. Today was to be the day when the Lord God was to come into his life, touch, heal, and restore him. 

You began to dialogue with him, 

"Do you want to be well?" One would imagine he would say a loud, resounding, enthusiastic yes, but instead he gives a lame response, focusing on the negative instead, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me." Without wasting any more time You command him to,
 "Rise, take up your mat, and walk." The miracle is instant and he does as You command.

It was the sabbath and of course the nit picking Pharisees were there to confront the man for breaking the law. The man testified as to what You had done for him and how You had healed him and asked him to take his mat and walk. Instead of rejoicing that the man was well, they sought the Healer who dared break the law even at the expense of giving someone hope. It is interesting that You found him in the temple area again and advised him not to sin again. Clearly his troubles were the result of his sin or else You would not have warned him that some worse could happen if he did. Now that the man knew who You were he went and told the Jews. This only served to make Your enemies even more determined to persecute You and eventually condemn You to death because You dared to disobey the law in order to show mercy and compassion.

There are times when I am just as hypocritical as the Pharisees, times when I self-righteously uphold some stupid rule instead of showing kindness and understanding. In moments like these convict me with the help of Your Spirit so I may be more like You.

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