There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep (Gate) a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”
He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'”
They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
Commentary of the day :
Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
Sermon for Lent ; CC Sermon 50, p. 202 ; PL 57, 585
« Do you want to be healed? » Lent leads to baptism.
We read in the Old Testament that in the times of Noah, since all humankind had been won over by sin, heaven’s floodgates opened and rain poured down for forty days… This was a symbol: it was less about a flood than about a baptism. For it was indeed a baptism that bore away the misdeeds of the sinners and spared the uprightness of Noah. And so today, just as it was then, our Lord has given Lent to us so that the skies can open for the same number of days to inundate us with the floods of divine mercy. Once washed in the saving waters of baptism, this sacrament enlightens us and, just as formerly, its waters bear away the evil of our sins and confirm the uprightness of our virtues.
Today’s situation is just the same as in Noah’s time. Baptism is flood to sinners and consecration for the faithful. In baptism the Lord rescues justice and destroys injustice. We can see this in the example of one and the same man: before he was cleansed by the spiritual commands, the apostle Paul was a persecutor and blasphemer (1Tm 1,13). But once he had been bathed with the heavenly rain of baptism, the blasphemer died, the persecutor died, Saul died. Then the apostle, the just man, Paul came to life… Anyone who lives Lent in a religious manner and observes the Lord’s decrees will see sin die in him and grace come to life…; such as these die as sinners and live as righteous persons.
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