Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday of the Fourth Week
All of today’s readings are concerned with water, one of the most universal symbols in Scripture.  Water cleanses, water heals, water baptizes, water quenches thirst, water nourishes.  In Ezekiel 47:1-9, the angel shows the prophet the river flowing east from the temple of the Lord.  This river springs from under the threshold of the temple, at first shallow but then growing in depth where it becomes a mighty river flowing to the sea, nourishing all living things.  In the Christian tradition, this is often interpreted as the ministry of Christ flowing from Jerusalem. An interesting point is that the angel refers to the prophet as “Son of Man,” an early reference to another name for Jesus.

In the responsorial psalm, Psalm 46: 2-3, 5-6, 8-9, “There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God...”

In the Gospel, John 5: 1-16, the water takes the form of the pool called Bethesda in Jerusalem, where many come to be healed.  Among them is a man who has been ill for thirty-eight years.  Jesus asks him if he wishes to be well, and he replies that others have prevented him from reaching the healing waters each time he tries.  Jesus heals him on the spot – He, after all, is the living water.  Yet He is persecuted by Jews who lived at the time of Jesus for working on the Sabbath!  Here, the Jews in the Gospel are practicing “Phariseeism,” the unreasonable attention to the letter of the law without regard to circumstances, and of many such instances in the Gospels.

Water of life, heal us.
Water of life, cleanse us.
Water of life, nourish us.
Water of live, transform us.

Bill Thompson, Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Ezekiel 47: 1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
Gospel: John 5:1-16

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


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