4th Week of Lent, Tuesday, 02-04-19

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 / John 5:1-3, 5-16

Jesus cures a man
The man never gave up hope.
Two frogs accidentally tumbled into a bucket of cream. They thrashed about for an hour, trying to make it up the side of the metal bucket. Exhausted, one of the frogs gasped,
“It’s no use!” With that, he gave up and drowned in the cream.

The second frog, however, struggled on. He thrashed and thrashed and thrashed about. Then, suddenly, he found himself sitting safely on a lump of butter. It was this kind of perseverance that the man in today’s gospel showed.
For 38 years he sought to be cured. He never gave up.
How persevering are we?  “The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Water is a very fascinating element. It is essential for life; coming after the need for air, the next is the need for water as we can actually die of thirst.

In its material dimension, it takes on the shape of whatever container it goes into. And it can also exist as a liquid, as a solid and as a gas.

Hence, water is indeed a very versatile and flexible element, not just in the material sense, but also in the spiritual sense.

In the Biblical and Church tradition, water symbolizes purity and fertility for out of the waters came forth creation (Gen 1).

Yet, there are also deeper meanings to water. Water is also a symbol of blessing and healing.

In the 1st reading, the waters that flow out of the Temple threshold gives life and health and brings about blessings on the lands it which it flows.

And the gospel mentions of a Sheep Pool in Jerusalem in which crowds of sick people gather around in search for healing when the waters are disturbed.

In the Church there is a Rite of blessing of water, after which the water is called "holy water".
It is used to remind us of our baptism, of the blessings that God wants to bestow on us, and also for healing. Hence, holy water should be used often and not sporadically.

When holy water is used with faith, it becomes a source of cleansing and purification for us, and it can also be a source of healing and blessing for us.