Daily Readings Reflection for 3/24/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 3/24/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Tues. of 4th week in Lent. Ezekiel 47:1-9,12. Psalm
46:2-3.5-6.8-9. John 5:1-3.5-16. Lectionary # 246:

Ezekiel never is dull. His image of the waters flowing from the
Temple down to the Dead Sea is one of the most colorful scenes in the whole
Bible.  Some have called him the psychedelic prophet. Let us just say he is
creatively dramatic in his imagery and a bit eccentric. Such persons can be
fascinating. He is more than that, he is prophetic and does have many
powerful messages in his lengthy scroll that is divinely inspired.  The
flowing waters from the Temple are on all sides and from a Christian
perspective they remind us of our Baptism which is to be given to all who
have the Christian faith, therefore, all sides of the globe are mentioned:
East, South, North, and West. As we read this interesting passage we see
that Ezekiel is led to mark off one thousand cubits till he gets to the
point where the waters are over his head. The water is like that of a river
and we see Ezekiel is a swimmer–something more normal for this man than
his imagery.

The Psalm is well chosen for verse five has a beautiful image of
water within it. In fact, God is compared to the water as his runlets flow
throughout the land of Israel and nourish everything in their flowing
power. Refreshment is given to all the inhabitants.  The words are
magnificent in verse five: “There is a stream whose runlets gladden the
city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it
shall not be disturbed; God will help it at the break of dawn.”

Jesus is helping a man who is near pools of water. The pool at
Bethesda is said to be five sided–a Pentagon! It probably is a Sabbath
morning just as the verse of the Psalm says.  He is cured and picks up his
mat and walks. Jesus cured him without the healing waters of that pool
where it is said an angel descended and healed the first one who jumped
into the pool.  This man had direct contact with Jesus and heard him say,
“Pick up your mat and walk.”  He was touched by the living Word of God,
Jesus. Jesus realized that the spirit of the Sabbath was to free people for
leisure, rest, and healing. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the
Sabbath.” Such loving acts of kindness on the part of God are permitted on
the Sabbath. God, the one who is authentically above the laws of the
Sabbath, performed the healing and freed the man near the pool of Bethesda.
Amen.

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