Monday, March 16, 2015

Everything Lives Where the River Goes

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

By Melanie Rigney

(The angel told Ezekiel:) “This water flows out of the eastern district, runs down into the Arabah and empties into the polluted waters of the sea to freshen them. Wherever it flows, the river teems with every kind of living creature; fish will abound. Where these waters flow they refresh; everything lives where the river goes.” (Ezekiel 47:8-9)

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. (Psalms 46:2)

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.” (John 5:9-10)

Lord, help me to never question the way You work in my life… or that of others.

I heard a thought-provoking homily recently about envy as an outgrowth of pride, characterized as the mother of all the deadly sins. I hadn’t thought that envy was much of a problem for me… until it was coupled with that judgment thing.

Judgment and envy are at the heart of today’s Gospel reading from John 5. Jesus cures the man who has been sick for thirty-eight years, who doesn’t even have anyone to help him into the pool. Are the authorities happy for the man? Do they engage in any introspection as to why their community had done so little to help him? Of course not. They focus on the fact that the healing came on the sabbath, that yet again, the rules had not been followed. Perhaps they’re a bit envious that this sort of thing doesn’t seem to happen in their own lives, on the sabbath or any other day. They judge… because that’s safe. It’s safer than considering a miracle has just occurred.

When we judge or envy, we attempt to pollute the Lord’s refreshing waters. We attempt to out-God God in determining what’s best for the world. And even as we do it, we know subconsciously that we will fail. Going against the flow of God’s love is like swimming upstream against the current.  It tires us out and ultimately is pointless. May we resolve today to set aside attempting to analyze God’s goodness on the sabbath or any other day… and go with His flow.

The 143rd Arlington Cursillo Women’s Weekend begins Thursday. Please offer up prayers for the babe chicks and team, either privately or by signing up for a slot on the palanca clock. (It’s fine to have more than one pray-er per hour!)

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