Get up and Get Going!
In this season of Lent, we focus much of our prayer on healing and cleansing; nearly every day of this holy season, the Christian liturgy asks Christ to heal us from our brokenness and cleanse us from our sins. Today’s Gospel returns, once more, to this central Lenten theme. Jesus approaches a crippled man at the pool of Bethesda and bestows his healing grace upon him.
Strangely, though, the man does not know who his healer is. He experiences Jesus’ grace, his life is radically changed, and yet he remains ignorant of his savior’s identity.
As we reach the halfway point of Lent, we might ask ourselves: Has our Lenten fasting improved our spiritual vision? Do we recognize Jesus when he approaches us with his grace?
C.S. Lewis conjectured that when we meet Jesus after death, we might be surprised to find him appear like people we knew in our daily life. Then we will realize, to our chagrin, that it was Jesus all along, incarnate in our brothers and sisters, and yet we missed him.
Jesus is here among us this Lent, accompanying us on our 40-day pilgrimage towards Easter. He accompanies us in the disguise of our family members, friends, and colleagues. He waits for us in the distressing disguise of the poor and the marginalized. He longs for us in the tabernacles of our churches. He speaks to us in the Scriptures and in the words of the liturgy. He offers healing, just as he healed the crippled man in today’s Gospel.
Will we recognize him? Will our Lenten fasting attune our eyes to see his face breaking through the veil of our world?
Jesus Christ is in our midst. Let us see and believe.
Prayer for Today
Father, we want to be well. We want to see and walk upright. Help us to hear Jesus, and in hearing him pick up our mats and walk, for we know his words alone heal—if only we listen and follow. Amen.
March 8th, 2016