The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
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.
Reflection (Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol)
When I was still a child, I was always fascinated seeing people queue up in the confessional box every time my lola and I would go to church . I asked her about what they were doing and why they were doing that. She told me that it was a time for someone to tell the priest his or her sins and he or she would be forgiven by God through the priest.
My appreciation of the Sacrament of Penance started there and it was reinforced during our catechism classes and eventually during our First Communion preparations. My first Holy Communion came after my first Confession. I was aware during that time that God was always willing and ready to forgive me. That awareness helped me to see it as an opportunity to be healed by God.
I was also aware that my weaknesses and sins were incomparable to the mercy of God for me, which, through the Sacrament of Penance, I could avail through my participation in the church ministry. I was an altar server and that helped me in availing the Sacrament of Penance once a year, or sometimes twice a year. What was so remarkable every time I confessed was that, I was always forgiven! The forgiveness was from God who is full of mercy and that forgiveness brought healing.
Jesus is telling us today in the Gospel, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” We believe that healing is from God and that the strong challenge every time we receive healing and forgiveness is to sin no more.
In my seminary life today, the invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ is for me to be dependent on Him, the source of healing and forgiveness, and to become a brother who can concretely show mercy and forgiveness to other members of the community.