Mar 20, 2023
(Ez.47:1-9,12; Ps.46:2-3,5-6,8-9; Jn.5:1-3,5-16)
“There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.”
Brothers and sisters, Jesus is our living water.
In our first reading, Ezekial speaks of his heavenly vision of the river of God which runs from His holy temple. The water, which increases as it flows further from its source, eventually “empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.” Along both banks of the river are trees whose “leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail… for they [are] watered by the flow from the sanctuary.” Their fruit nourishes and their leaves heal.
What is this river and this temple? What is this sea and who are these fruit trees revealed to the eyes of the prophet? Brothers and sisters, that Jesus is the river, the healing water, is made poignantly clear in our gospel. The sick man struggles daily to plunge himself into the healing pool at Bethesda but is never able to find the assistance he needs. When Jesus asks him if he wants to be healed and the man explains his plight, the Lord immediately states: “Stand up! Pick up your mat and walk!” The healing waters have come to him, and he is cured.
Yes, Jesus is the living water, and the cross is as the temple from which His healing blood flows. Upon us all who have prepared the cross and set it in place by our sins – which have made our water undrinkable – His grace pours to make us whole… and so we are the salt sea made fresh. And so the trees on the river’s banks, bearing fresh fruit each of the months, do we become, as we walk in the paths of the twelve apostles… who are first to know His redemptive power, and with whom God becomes “our refuge and our strength.”
“Come! behold the deeds of the Lord, the astounding things He has wrought on earth.” For by the river that flows from His side He has prepared a people and a kingdom. And all shall see what Ezekial sees; all shall know what the prophet is shown – the water of the Lord flows out now to the ends of the world, making all whole and fruitful by His presence.
O LORD, let us be watered
by the flow from your sanctuary,
healed by your only Son
that we might bear fruit as your holy Church.
YHWH, your Son is the healing water that cleanses us of our sins and makes us whole in your sight. The blood flowing from His side is the source of our salvation. May we wash in this river and have our hearts made new that we might bear fruit unto Heaven.
O LORD, may Ezekial’s vision be our own; may we sit with you on the banks of the River in your holy Paradise, where all shall be fed by the fruit of the trees there and healed by the medicine of their leaves. In your Church, founded on the twelve apostles, let us make our home, for there we shall rest in you, there we shall be as the Body of your Son, His blood flowing through our veins.
To newness of life let us come, dear LORD, raised from our sickness by a word from your mouth. Your Temple is with us in your Son who walks among us… May the healing graces He brings forth increase even to the ends of the earth.