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Do You Want to Be Healed?

4th Pascal Sunday of the Paralytic Acts 9.32-42 Jn 5.1-17


Christ is risen. I suppose that you have listened attentively to

today’s gospel. God invites us, each in our unique lives, to repeat

the 40 years journey of God’s People in the Old Testament from slavery

in Egypt to the Promised Land. Today’s gospel reminds us that, with

our baptism, we started the long journey, and we are almost there, we

are no more far from being healed from the ailment, more precisely

from the paralysis, that after baptism in the waters, continues to

enslave us and prevent us from reaching the freedom of the Promised

Land prepared for us: “thirty-eight years of ailment” is it written

for today’s paralytic. We, as him, have not quite yet in the Promised

Land. We are not yet fully disposed to hear Jesus ask: “Do you want to

be healed?” Like the paralytic we remain with an inner mental world

that reconstructs the social setting around us, filled with

justifications and artificial expectations. We say: “If this one or

that one acted differently in the community, I would immediately be in

the Promised Land and healed from my ailments”. Our own

rationalizations are so prevailing that we don’t realize Jesus is

asking: “Do you want to be healed?” Jesus, in his wonderful mercy, has

power to act beyond the obstacles we interpose quite unconsciously.

Jesus intervenes further, he invites us to act under his direction:

“Rise, take your mat and walk”. Such continued powerful Divine mercies

do not eliminate that rational mindset to which we cling. We let our

social world and worldly attachments to other people and to all sorts

of things separate us from Jesus, we lose track of His Presence, and

only see the crowd of relationships surrounding us. This does not stop

Jesus from coming again with a third initiative. He intervenes more

profoundly saying: “Do not sin, lest your ailment become even worse”.

Even these untiring gratuitous visits of Jesus cannot, of themselves,

free us from the worldly attachments that enslave us. We continue to

be vulnerable to games of those who judge, accuse and condemn others,

even saying to Jesus: “You are violating the Sabbath, your actions are

a scandal, you are doing what is not permitted....” Jesus then

peacefully declares to all who are willing to hear: “breach the gap

left to enter the Promised Land, to enter into the fortieth year, take

a decisive personal choice of opening to two truths that I, Jesus, Son

of God, can reveal. And He says: “Up to now my Father is at work, and

I am at work also.” Our immediate full healing entails reception of

two supernatural truths revealed in unique Divine words, “Up to now my

Father is at work, and I am at work also”. Jesus takes on our human

condition, suffers his Passion and rises from the dead to heal us and

open to us the life of the Divine Persons. Health and the Promised

Land is found if we welcome the life of the Divine Persons revealed by

Jesus with great power. When you stay back from the divine revealed

truths, in fact, you remain outside of reality, you remain in your

inner mentally constructed world, you remain in your ailment, in your

sins, even worse you foster sins in those around you, you foster among

the leaders hostility against Jesus Himself as we see in today’s

Gospel story. You may ask: “What can I do to start welcoming the life

of the Divine Persons revealed by Jesus?” Again and again, open up to

Jesus’ repeated visits, hear Jesus say: “Pray as I pray, saying: “Our

Father who are in Heaven…” Hear Jesus institute the Eucharist saying:

“Do this in memory of me”. Hear Jesus give his mother, the Mother of

God, to take to our home. Today the apostle Peter says to Emmaeus:

“Emmaeus, Jesus heals you” and says to Dorcas-Tabitha lying dead on

her bed: “Tabitha, rise”. Peter is living inside the life of the

Divine Persons. We are not to stay exterior to the spectacular

visitations of Jesus and manifestations of the beginnings of the

Church. The essential is that we choose to let the life of the Divine

Persons nourish our faith: “I believe in the Father Almighty… I

believe in the only begotten Son, who suffers, dies and rises from the

dead and comes again in glory, sends the Holy Spirit…” This is what

we are to hear from Jesus and his angels as we celebrate the Divine

Liturgy. Jesus and his angels transmit nothing other than the life of

the Divine Persons. In our long journey out of slavery, started with

baptism, let us reach the 40th year, let us open to the supernatural

truths by which we enter definitely the Promised Land. Christ is

risen.

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