Tuesday, fourth week of Lent
May the venerable exercises of holy devotion
shape the hearts of Your faithful, O Lord,
to welcome worthily the Paschal Mystery
and proclaim the praises of Your salvation.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 (the vision of the stream flowing from the temple)
Psalm 46:2-9 “The mighty Lord is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge”
+John 5:1-16 (the Sabbath healing of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda)
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God
the holy dwelling of the Most High
I saw water flowing…from…the temple
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…
He spoke of the temple of His body
-John 2:19, 21
One of the soldiers thrust a lance into His side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out
Christ, whose side, as He hung lifeless upon the cross, was pierced with a spear,
and there flowed from it blood and water,
and these we know to be the sacraments by which the Church is ‘built up.’
-St. Augustine, The City of God
O Blood and Water which gushed forth
from the Heart of Jesus
as a Fount of Mercy for us,
I trust in you
-St. Faustina Kowalska
The water deepens as it flows,
invading the Dead Sea,
to resurrect the briny death
of Sodom and Gomorrah.
It flows into the “Dead Sea” of our sin
to make us new.
Fisher of men, whom You bring to life;
From evil sea of sin,
And from the billowy strife,
Gathering pure fishes in,
Caught with sweet bait of life.
-Clement of Alexandria, “A Hymn to Christ the Savior”
[see Luke 5:4-11, Matthew 13:47-49]
Those caught shall live!
Along both banks of the river fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food,
and their leaves for medicine
Immediately the man became well,
took up his mat, and walked.
The water deepens as it flows.
Our sacramental life must deepen too
unto a sweet surrender to its flow.
We cannot know
the ways of God on our behalf.
We must let go.
We can’t touch bottom anymore.
Give up your sins
so that something worse may not overtake you
It doesn’t stop.
What flows in must flow out
or it will die.
Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture says:
‘Rivers of living Water will flow from within him’
(He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in Him were to receive)
The man went off and informed the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had cured him.
We cannot count on their response,
but life must flow
and there shall be abundant fish
Have the sacraments flowing from the pierced side of the crucified Christ
become a river in your life?
Have you given over control to this river of life?
Does this river of living water flow from within you to others?