GOSPEL REFLECTION: John 5:17-30 Healing on the Sabbath and the Authority of the Son
March 30: John 5:17-30
St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches us to pray the scriptures by first setting the scene. This is uncovering the literal/historical sense of the scripture and can best be accomplished by reading a few passages before and after the selection. To pray today’s mass reading, I began in the beginning of chapter 5 which informs that Jesus has gone to Jerusalem for a feast. This would bring a large number of people to Jerusalem (confirmed in Jn 5:13). We do not know which gate Jesus used to enter Jerusalem, but He ended up at the sheep gate. Through it were five porticoes (covered entrances and walkways). This was once the wall for which much joy and song was proclaimed when rebuilt by Nehemiah (Neh 12). Now its columns and paths were covered with the sorrow of humanity: the crippled, sick, anguished. Perhaps it is the biblical version of the tent cities we have today. Jesus proceeded to heal a crippled man which, without surprise, angered the Jews (Pharisees).
In today’s Gospel, God wants us to hear Jesus’ response to the Pharisees. Several times Jesus repeats ‘truly, truly’ which means LISTEN! What message does Jesus want me to hear?
That He is God’s only begotten Son and does nothing without the Father. He does God’s will. It is the Father showing the Son what He wants for us: healing, relief, love. New life.
What parts of me are crippled…my body? Out-of-control emotions? Broken heart full of pain? Am I brave enough to make myself available to Jesus for healing like those people waiting in the porticoes?
Jesus, teach me to be vulnerable to God’s love without fear, and then heal me of all that is crippling my love for you and others. Amen.
Image: Carl Bloch, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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