March 24, 2020 – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032420.cfm)
The reading from the Book of Ezekiel tells us about the flowing water from which life, abundance and healing spring forth. It says,
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.”
It clearly states that God created the world and everything in it and God has found them very good, as the Book of Genesis reminds us. However, in the face of the great crisis that we have now with the pandemic corona virus, it seemed that nature has turned against us. What have we done?
This calls us as individuals and as a human community to look deeper at our own lifestyle and on how such lifestyle endangers nature. This calls us to recognize our sins committed against the earth from which the poorest of the poor in our communities suffer the most.
Pope Francis has reminded that each of us is called to pro-actively protect the whole creation, our environment, and not to cause harm to the earth for the sake of the next generations after us.
This event in our history is surely a wakeup call that there is a need for conversion of both personal and social, individual and community conversion. Indeed, healing can only be possible when we begin to open ourselves for others and for God. Opening ourselves also means recognizing our sickness, our sins, of what is wrong with us
With our limited movement today because of the Community Quarantine, we have become like that sick man in the Gospel of John waiting to be healed. As of the moment, we could not yet reach the pool of the healing and cleansing water. We are lame and cannot move. Like that man who had been ill for 38 years, we too are desperate to find cure, to find healing and fullness of life.
However, the Gospel also reminds us that God is not blind and indifferent to our desperation and need for healing. Jesus sees us as he saw the man lying flat because of his illness. In the same way, Jesus asks us, “Do you want to be healed?”
Yes, we want to healed. For us to be healed, there is also a need that we take responsibility for ourselves rather than blaming others because of our condition. This was what happened to the sick man, his response to Jesus was giving reasons of why he remained sick because no one could put him into the pool.
In the same way, in whatever sickness we have at this moment, Jesus calls us for a personal commitment, that we respond actively to his invitation of healing. This is the reason why Jesus asked the sick man to stand up, to take his mat and walk.
Do you want to be healed? Yes, and as we seek healing for ourselves, for our relationships, for others and for the world that is sickened with the deadly virus ,then, we need to stand up, meaning, to take courage, to have faith and to trust Jesus. We need to take our mat too, to roll up and to let go those things, attitudes, lifestyle, and even beliefs that only prevent us from walking. Just like that healed man, the mat the he had become so comfortable with has to be left behind. He had to let that go for him to walk and embrace God’s healing.
In this way, then, hopefully, we shall all experience that flowing water that gives life, abundance and healing and to experience that from the very source himself, who is Jesus, the source from which the healed man was able to experience. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR