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Water is a theme in today’s readings. In the first reading, Ezekiel is led step by step from the walls of the temple where there was a trickle of water to the East where there was a depth of water that he could not tread without swimming.
Along the banks of the great river, Ezekiel saw every kind of life. But, more than that, when the water from the temple flowed into the sea, it made the sea fresh.
Now move to the Gospel where there were people suffering from every sort of malady: the ill, blind, lame, and crippled. They were waiting beside a pool of water called Bethesda. The sick believed that they could be healed in its waters, but they needed someone to take them into the waters when it was stirred in order to be healed. This was difficult for those who couldn’t walk, see, or were otherwise ill. Jesus encountered one of those waiting for healing and asked, “Do you want to be well?” The man said, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. . . .someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Jesus is the water that heals and gives life.
Now to us. For those among us who have been baptized, Jesus has already come to us. He was present in the waters of our baptism. He himself is the healing water that gives life to everything he touches. The fresh waters of his mercy take away the saltiness of our sins. In him we have been made clean. But, sometimes we need to go back to the source (and confess our sins) to be made anew. We also need to keep walking forward from our baptism until we reach the depth of God’s love for us.
How can we ever repay the goodness of the Lord?