God’s flowing mercy

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles March 13,2018
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God’s flowing mercy

By Fr. Dan De Los Angeles March 13,2018
share this

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
1st Reading:
Ezk 47:1–9, 12
Gospel: Jn 5:1–16
(or 5:1–3, 5–16)

There was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now, by the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem, there is a pool (called Bethzatha in Hebrew) surrounded by five galleries. In these galleries lay a multitude of sick people—blind, lame and paralyzed.

There was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him, and since he knew how long this man had been lying there, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” And the sick man answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; so while I am still on my way, another steps down before me.”

Jesus then said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his mat and walked.

Now that day happened to be the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had just been healed, “It is the Sabbath and the Law doesn’t allow you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The one who healed me said to me: Take up your mat and walk.” They asked him, “Who is the one who said to you: Take up your mat and walk?” But the sick man had no idea who it was who had cured him, for Jesus had slipped away among the crowd that filled the place.

Afterwards Jesus met him in the Temple court and told him, “Now you are well; don’t sin again, lest something worse happen to you.” And the man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. So the Jews persecuted Jesus because he performed healings like that on the Sabbath.

(Daily Gospel in the
Assimilated Life

Jerusalem’s old city walls had 8 gates. One of them was the Sheep Gate where people bringing lambs for the Temple offering would pass. Jesus must have passed through the same gate. What a perfect picture of him as Lamb of God!

Not very far from this gate, there was a pool called Bethzatha where Jesus healed a man who had been sick for 38 years. In curing him, Jesus brought to perfection his image as Lamb of God who wouldn’t only take away the sins of the world but would also cure the body of those whose sins he’d remove.

“Bethzatha” means mercy in Hebrew/Aramaic. But it also means shame. The dual meaning is instructive, for at this place of shame frequented by invalids, Jesus offered his abundant mercy. The man had been sick for 38 years. This number takes us back to the history of the chosen people who disobeyed God for 38 years (Deuteronomy 2:14).

Today’s Gospel story is a powerful restatement of our salvation story: The Lamb of God passed through the gate of humanity (though incarnation) to renew God’s love towards a disobedient people, offering them overflowing love and mercy. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.

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