Lent day 28 reflection – 16 March 2021

by Donn D’souza

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,
Today we look at the Gospel of John, chapter 5. It says,
“Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there in Jerusalem, near the sheep gate, a pool which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five colonnades. Here, a great number of disabled people used to lie… the blind, the lame, the paralysed. One who was there had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, ‘do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir’, the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool. When the water is stirred while I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:1-8
My dear brothers and sisters, it’s so strange that a man who was near a pool called Bethesda, which means house of healing or house of kindness, had never really experienced either healing or kindness. There are many things in this world that promise healing, kindness and mercy, but rarely deliver. There are many routes promised to salvation and success, but they rarely work. There are many who are invited, but very few get to actually sit at the table. Why is that? This is because the world cannot deliver what it promises, the world cannot give what it has not received, only Jesus can. That is why Jesus asks this man first, ‘do you want to get well?’ And then Jesus quickly says, ‘get up. Take your mat and walk.’
Now, Jesus looks at us today, no matter where we are in our circumstances and situations, and He says the same thing.
He first asks us if we want healing, which is His invitation to us to surrender. If we say yes, He then says, “get up”, which means, leave your past behind with the help of Jesus. He then says, “pick up your mat”, which means, take responsibility for your life with the help of Jesus. Don’t blame somebody else. If we cross this part, He then says, “walk”, which means, live your healing and follow Jesus.
My dear friends, He speaks to you today. He says, “my son, my daughter, get up, pick up your mat and walk with me.”

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