Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 – The River from the Temple
1 The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side. 3 As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. 4 He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. 5 He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in–a river that no one could cross. 6 He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. 7 When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. 8 He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Sea. When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. 9 Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.
12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
John 5:1-16 – The Healing at the Pool
1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie–the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.
Like the nourishing water that flows all the time, always supporting the fish, always watering the trees, always healing, the love of God and His healing energy never stop. Not even on the Sabbath. Jesus seemed to think that this man should not have to wait for his healing. Like the healing waters that do not dry up on the Sabbath, Jesus was expressing that the love of God is a continual state. God’s love and his care for his people is our stronghold. And it doesn’t take a day off.
may our Lenten observance
help us to more fully embrace the mystery of Christ
and to celebrate your gift of salvation with joyful praise.
May a greater knowledge of Christ lead us to deeper praise.
As we grow in love and compassion for what Jesus faced at the cross for us,
we ask to be prepared to embrace His way, His path, and His pattern of loving and caring for others.
We ask that we would be equipped to proclaim His gift of salvation to others, with great joy.
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
God the Father has given us His only Son, the Word made human,
to be our food and our life. Let us thank Him and pray:
May the Word of Christ dwell among us in all its richness.
Help us this Lenten season to listen more frequently to your Word,
– that we may celebrate Easter with greater love for Christ.
May your Holy Spirit be our teacher,
– that we may encourage those in doubt and error to follow what is true and good.
Enable us to understand more deeply the mystery of Christ,
– that our lives may reveal Him more effectively.
Purify and renew our hearts during this time of reflection,
– that our lives may be an ever greater witness to you.
Help me to see how your saving graceAmen.
and your loving touch in my life
can fill me with joyful praise.
May my praise be a sweet sound to your ear.