Reading 1: Ezekiel 47:1-9,12; Gospel : John 5:1-3,5-16
‘Do you want to be well again?’
Recent Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem has revealed the details of the Sheep Pool, and the ruins of the building with five porticos mentioned by John, proving once again the historicity of many details in the Gospels.
Today we have a strange sick man, 38 years in that condition. When Jesus asked, “Do you want to be healed,” he did not light up with hope. All he had to say was complain that no one cared for him! When he was cured he just walked away without even knowing who cured him. Worse still, later he went and betrayed Jesus to his enemies! We wonder whether he was happy to be cured, ready to start a new life, after long years of comfortable and complaining life of sickness!
All of us have certain long-standing and well-cherished sicknesses from which we hardly wish to be cured. We have made peace with them. They help us to justify some of our ways and to draw solace from blaming others for the condition. They could be as varied as a drinking habit, a temperamental trait, a hidden immoral behaviour, or our stubborn ideas. “I am like this, and will be like this, because they made me so,” is the justification. We could be blaming God, society and other persons, often very close to us. If God were to tell us today, “Do you want to be cured,” we could be shocked, and say, “Well, yes, but not yet, ah…, it all depends…” Getting healed could be risky and demand a radical re-commitment to life and to love. So, we surmise that it is better to be left alone, not disturbed!
To desire healing, newness and conversion is itself a grace that we must pray for. What are our entrenched and cherished sicknesses?