- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

March 24, 2020

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

4th Tuesday of Lent
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; John 5:1-16

The prophet Ezekiel was witness to a miracle. As he stood outside the closed gate of the Temple, he saw a trickle of water flowing from beneath its threshold. As we attempt to respond to the threat of the coronavirus, the thought came to me that God continues to work behind closed doors. His grace is at work in unseen ways. He can do wonders, even if the first evidence of it is a tiny trickle. This is important for us to remember, especially during this time of concern and anxiety. “The monks dedicate themselves to the worship of God in a hidden life within the monastery under the Rule of St Benedict” (CST. 2). “By fidelity to their monastic way of life, which has its own hidden mode of apostolic fruitfulness, monks perform a service for God’s people and the whole human race” (CST. 3.4). What begins as an insignificant trickle, flowing from under the threshold becomes a cleansing and life-giving river. During this time of emergency “we are called to live with strong faith, with the same intensity as always, but in limited ways” (Card. Aviz).

We are invited to keep our eyes focused Our Lord who is truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar. We are asked to strain our ears to hear the gentle whisper that sounds in the Sacred Texts. The body of Christ is God’s Temple. It is from his pierced side that the life-giving water flows. The water that flows from His Sacred Heart increases and spreads far to produce blessed effects wherever it flows. The waters increase because his love is abundant and everlasting. Jesus is the wellspring of salvation, but it is up to us to plunge into the waters. With Saint Paul, we will be able to comprehend “how wide how long how high and how deep is Christ’s love” (Eph. 3:18). Following the example of the prophet, let us begin our plunge by wading in the shallows, and guided by the Spirit let us not be afraid to immerse ourselves in the deeper things of God.

During these days, let us trust in God; in His power and providence, in His love and compassion. The Psalmist put it this way: “Only in God does my soul find its rest; my hope comes from Him” (Ps. 62:5). By his word dwelling richly in us, we shall find strength for our souls. It is good for us to ponder Jesus’ question to the sick man at the side of the pool. “Do you want to be well?” Despite the presence of evil in our lives, and in the life of the Church and the world, we can be made whole. This opportunity to change manifests God’s unwavering desire to enter into a dialogue of salvation with us. The mystery of divine love is so real, so true, and so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and honest dialogue. If we want to be set free, we can be. We have only to turn to him, who is our peace. Jesus calls to us. He invites us to come to him (CF, Jn. 7:37). If we respond with all our hearts, he will give us living water to drink. This water “will become a flowing fountain within us, springing up to everlasting life” (Jn. 4:14). Because of His abundant mercy, our lives are enriched by His goodness and love. Let us drink deeply from the wellspring of life and become reservoirs of life-giving water for others.