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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Come to the waters..."

The entrance antiphon is "Come to the waters, all who thirst; though you have no money, come and drink with joy." (Isaiah 55:1)

The first reading from Ezechiel 47 is where he sees water flowing from the temple towards the East. The water continues to rise until it is a river. Then the angel tells Ezechiel that "Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh....Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

I love the image of the river with fruit trees that bear fresh fruit every month. I guess we are like those trees as we are rooted in the living waters that flow from the Heart of Christ. Maybe a monthly retreat would help us to see the fresh fruit of each month!

The Gospel is about the healing pool of Bethesda where Jesus saw the man that had been there waiting for the healing waters thirty-eight years. Jesus asked him, "Do you want to be well?" Then, when the man had replied that he had no one to help him into the water, Jesus told him, "Take up your mat and walk." He did, but it was the sabbath so Jesus is again in trouble with the Pharisees for doing good on the sabbath. Later he finds the man and tells him, "do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you." The man told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well and they "began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath."

I had the thought that Sunday would be a good day to try to make reparation for all the times Jesus must have been hurt by the attitude of the Pharisees every time he cures someone on the sabbath. He tried hard to show them that the sabbath was made for man, for us to care for one another and do good. Sundays in Lent help us to return to a healthy observance of the sabbath.

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