4th Tuesday in Lent
Ezekiel 47: 1 – 9; Ps 46; John 5: 1 – 6
The pool of Bethesda was crowded with a large number of ill, blind, lame and crippled and all of them waiting for the water to be stirred up. We can imagine the chaos of that crowd when it was stirred up. There must have been many who came and waited and experienced only frustration, anger because as the man put it, “I have no one to put me into the pool…someone else gets down there before me.” For him, this had been going on for 38 years.
Jesus singled him out, “Rise, take up your mat and walk” – and immediately the wait of 38 years ended. In the sight of all the others he took up his mat and walked away and they remained.
This Gospel passage poses a question for me – perhaps for you – what about all the others at the pool? What went through their minds as they saw this happen? Surely, Jesus was surrounded by their cries – what about me? Yet, the Gospel records the cure of just the one man.
In life, today, how many people are seeking a cure for themselves or a loved one? We often have prayer requests for these intentions and sometimes, we hear of a cure and sometimes not.
God’s ways are not our ways – we know that well. His ways, His wisdom is beyond us and we are called to trust in the providence, the mercy of God. Such trust is never easy; to trust in God when everything seems to point in the other direction is always a matter of grace, of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Knowing this from his own life, St. Benedict calls us to pray Psalm 91 every night in Compline and it is a profession and surely, a petition for the grace of trust, profound trust.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
And abides in the shade of the Almighty
Says to the Lord: my refuge, my stronghold
my God in whom I trust.
In those last words, the Psalmist, inspired by the Holy Spirit, goes to the very heart of trust – it is not THE GOD – BUT MY GOD in whom I trust – trust is always personal and therefore, always sacred and we are graced to pray and live these words.