First Reading: Ezk 47:1-9, 12
Psalm: Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Gospel: Jn 5:1-16
Tue: Lenten Weekday
Ez 47: 1-9. 12/ Ps 46: 2-3. 5-6. 8-9/ Jn 5: 1-16
1st Reading: Ezk 47:1-9, 12
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple and I saw water coming out from the threshold of the temple and flowing eastward. The temple faced the east and the water flowed from the south side of the temple, from the south side of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside, to the outer gate facing the east; and there I saw the stream coming from the south side.
The man had a measuring cord in his hand. As he went towards the east he measured off a thousand cubits; and led me across the water which was up to my ankles. He measured off another thousand cubits and made me cross the water, which came to my knees. He measured off another thousand cubits and we crossed the water, which was up to my waist. When he had again measured a thousand cubits, I could not cross the torrent, for it had swollen to a depth which was impossible to cross without swimming.
The man then said to me, “Son of man, did you see?” He led me on further and then brought me back to the bank of the river. There I saw a number of trees on both sides of the river. He said to me, “This water goes to the east, down to the Arabah, and when it flows into the sea of foul- smelling water, the water will become wholesome. Wherever the river flows, swarms of creatures will live in it; fish will be plentiful; and the seawater will become fresh. Wherever it flows, life will abound.
Near the river on both banks, there will be all kinds of fruit trees, with foliage that will not wither; and fruit that will never fail; each month they will bear a fresh crop, because the water comes from the temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing.
Responsorial Psalm; Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Gospel: Jn 5:1-16
After this, 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.
(All were waiting for the water to move, for at times an angel of the Lord would descend into the pool and stir up the water; and the first person to enter the pool, after this movement of the water, would be healed of what- ever disease that he had.)
There was a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus saw him, and because 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.
Afterward Jesus met him in the temple court and told him, “Now you are well; don’t sin again, lest some- thing 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.
Hitting Where It Hurts
“Flooding” or “in-vivo exposure” is a behavioral modification technique used by some therapists to treat some phobias. The patient is flooded with the stimulus that causes anxiety, so as to create desensitization and mastery. Jesus does this sort of hitting where it hurts most when he asks the paralyzed man to get up, take up the mat, and walk! How on earth do you expect a man paralyzed for 38 years to do so? The truth was: the man was more paralyzed in his will than in his body. He lacked personal agency. Not that he was able to move by himself into the pond; but when Jesus asked him a straightforward question, “Do you want to be healed?”, instead of answering with a resounding “Yes!”, he was wallowing in self-pity, playing the blame game. Jesus ordered him to take responsibility for himself and do the impossible. To the man’s credit, he did!