Meditation for the Day

Tuesday, April 2

It Is in the Living Waters of Baptism That God’s Grace Begins to Help Us to Grow in a Righteous, Loving and Intimate Relationship with Himself, Freeing Us from the Grip That Sin Has Over Us.

“Do you want to be well?” – a question that we hear in today’s Gospel, a question which Jesus poses to each and every one of us, no matter what our walk in life may be. No matter our race, creed, color or religious persuasion, Jesus continues to ask us each and every day, “Do you wish to be healed?”

In our First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, we are presented with a vision that the prophet is having about flowing water coming from underneath the East side of the Temple.

In our faith, we are taught that God is the Source of all grace which flows from His Infinite Love for His children, and which we initially receive through the life-giving waters of Baptism. This grace – these living waters – makes everything fresh, new again, and our Lord teaches us that God wishes to give us this newness of life by means of His living waters.

In Ezekiel’s vision, he first sees a trickle of water which becomes a flowing river – a sign of the Church’s growth. What was once a small band of devoted disciples following our Lord in His ministry has now grown to well over 2.3 billion Christian believers world-wide.

Ezekiel’s vision can also be interpreted as a sign of our own faith, which begins with the pouring of a small amount water flowing over the head of an infant being baptized, to a flowing river of grace as we grow in our knowledge of and love for God, as we grow in our intimate relationship with the One who created us, the One who redeemed us, and the One who continuously sanctifies His faithful children with His grace.

In today’s Gospel, when Jesus reached out to the paralytic who could not help himself because of his infirmities, our Lord became his Source of refuge, and the paralytic ultimately experienced the Love and Mercy which Christ, Himself, desired to share with him.

All our healings, be they spiritual, emotional or physical, flow through the Most Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word Incarnate, for He is the Source of the living waters in Whom we take refuge for healing and restoration, in Whom we take our refuge for eternal life – for it is God, Himself, who truly wishes to free us from the grip that sin has over us.

His question to the paralytic is the same question He poses to you and me, “Do you want to be well?” Our Lord will never force His Mercy upon us. We must first respond with a free-will desire to say “yes”, a desire that wills our hearts to take refuge in the Love and Mercy which He offers.

Jesus is the Temple, as in the vision that Ezekiel experienced, from which His Mercy, these living waters, flow – living waters that transform our sinfulness to holiness through the indwelling of His Most Holy Spirit. But it first takes a “yes” from each of us, and it is also through our prayers that the hardest of hearts may be opened to the wonders of His limitless Mercy.

Jesus gives us hope, just as He gave hope to the paralytic. Saint Ignatius of Antioch, one of the early Church Fathers, in his letter to the Trallians, wrote very succinctly, “Jesus Christ…is our hope” – which our late Holy Father, Saint John Paul II, repeated several times in the countless homilies he gave over the course of his Pontificate. For it is only in Christ that we find our true refuge; it is only in Christ where our joy shall be made complete.

In our hearts, this Gospel story should refresh us in our faith, for it is through our unquestioning belief in God’s Love and Mercy which gives us hope. And it is this enduring hope in the providential Love of God which gives our life meaning and in which we find our consolation and are ultimately healed.

It should be our prayer, today and every day, that our renewed faith should be seen as a living and breathing example of these living waters which flow from its very Source, God Himself, and which flowed from the side of Christ while he hung upon His Cross – the same living waters which flowed upon us at our Baptism, truly making us His adopted sons and daughters.

For it is these living waters which heal us and which give us life. It is these living waters, God’s grace, which help us to grow in a righteous, loving and intimate relationship with Himself. And we take comfort in the words of today’s psalmist, words which become our own in our individual walks of faith, “God is our refuge and our strength.”

As we continue through the second half of this Lenten season, let us always hold in our hearts the faith which filled the heart and soul of the paralytic in today’s Gospel, a man overwhelmed by his own infirmity, yet who never gave up seeking God’s Mercy.

Jesus asks you and me today, “Do you wish to be healed?” May our answer always be a resounding and enthusiastic “Yes!”

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be well?’…Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your mat, and walk.’(John 5:6,8)
  • “He said to me, ‘This water flows…and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live.’” (Ezekiel 47:8-9a)
  • “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” (Psalm 46:2)
  • “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
  • “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
  • “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
  • “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13)
  • “And since we have ‘a great priest over the house of God,’ let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.” (Hebrews 10:21-22)
  • “…because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:5b-7)
  • “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

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Prayer for the Day

“Soul of Christ, sanctify me;
Body of Christ, save me;
Blood of Christ, inebriate me;
Water from the side of Christ, wash me;
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

“O good Jesus, hear me;
Within Your wounds hide me;
separated from You, let me never be;
From the evil one, protect me;
At the hour of my death, call me;
And close to You, bid me.

“That with Your saints,
I may praise You for ever and ever. Amen.”

The Anima Christi (14th century prayer)

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