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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, day 28

I was in the hospital for six days. And in just six days I was going out of my mind without anything to do. I can’t even imagine being laid up for 38 long years like the cripple in today’s Gospel. My reaction to Jesus’ question—“Do you want to be well?”—would be “Well, of course!”

The waters of the pool at Bethesda apparently were therapeutic. Whenever the waters were stirred up, the one who scampered into them first was healed. Our poor fellow had no one to assist him to get down into the waters. Hence he had to live with his infirmity. 

Now enter Jesus and his now-famous question. Jesus sensed the innate faith of the man. So he simply told him, “Pick up your mat and go home.” The poor man hesitated not a whit: reached down, picked up his mat, and began walking away. How amazed—and grateful—he must have been! 

Jesus can and often does the same for us. “Pick up that problem, and walk away!” All we have to do is believe in the power of Jesus. 

Father John Harrison, C.Ss.R.
Timonium, Md. 

Scripture readings for today: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-16