A man suffered a mild stroke. The doctors suggested certain exercises but he failed to comply. His condition got worse. Before long, he was bed ridden. A priest visited this paralytic and asked him if he prayed. “No” came the reply, “I don’t know how to pray.” What about the ‘Our Father’ asked the priest. “I knew it, but now I have forgotten how it goes,” said the man. They procured a printed copy of the ‘Our Father’ pray this thrice a day, morning, and night. Now, just to make sure this man would pray it, the family joined him in prayer. After a week, the paralytic refused to pray. They summoned the priest again. On questioning the man answered, “I get upset at the words: ‘Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us’ I cannot forgive the people who have harmed me and ruined my life. So the prayer is not for me.”
Christianity is about forgiveness. Learn to forgive and you will be near
This was no ordinary pool. It was the ‘Sheep Pool’ [Bethzatha in Hebrew]. The Jews believed that the angels touched the water in this pool. Below the Pool was a subterranean stream, which bubbled up every now and then, thus disturbing the water there. The first person to get into the pool after the disturbance of the water would be healed, from any illness whatsoever.
Like the man in the Gospel, we too have been crippled by sin. We do not walk straight along the way that leads to God. We have made several attempts every Lent and not succeeded .We have compelling reasons for clinging on to our sickness and disabilities. Our sins of hatred, injustices, impurities and unwillingness to forgive hold us back from reaching the Healer. We are like, the paralytic man stuck to our bed of sin. Only
Do we want to be healed, liberated and made whole again?
“Lord Jesus, let the fountain that flows from your sacred side, wash my sins in that precious tide. May your ‘river of life’ flow out through me and give me life abundantly.”