Monday, March 07, 2016

Be Made Fresh

By Melanie Rigney
(The angel told Ezekiel:) “Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.” (Ezekiel 47:9)

The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. (Psalm 46:8)

Jesus said to (the sick man), “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 made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath. (John 5:8-16)

Rain Your love down on me, Lord.

Renata Sedmakova
When the angel took Ezekiel back to the temple entrance, water was trickling. After the angel measured off a distance, the water was ankle-deep. Another measure, knee-deep. Another measure, waist-high; another measure, it had turned into a river.

God’s goodness can feel that way as well… starting off small, then, as we open ourselves up and become more receptive to His grace, we find ourselves awash in love so strong and overpowering that it’s like nothing we’ve ever known before, even if we thought we had embraced Him before. Sometimes it’s an angel who opens the spigots to the greater outpouring… sometimes it’s the study of scripture or Sacred Tradition… sometimes it’s someone in our lives.

Consider the case of the sick man in today’s Gospel reading. His physical ailments were cured, but his concern for himself was greater than his gratitude. Amid questioning by the authorities about the healing taking place on the sabbath, he was unwilling or unable to simply slip away as Jesus had. The man was still healed. But I suspect he felt the spigot of grace in his soul slow down to a trickle, just as we do when we focus on potential consequences of following the Lord in this world, rather than on the joy it brings us. May we continually open ourselves and our souls… and go with His flow.

Do something silly today that involves water. Maybe it’s taking a long shower and singing your favorite hymn at the top of your lungs. Maybe it’s splashing about and praying out loud as you wash the dishes. 

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