When you allow the rhythm of the Church to be your guide, great things happen. Today during the reading of the Holy Gospel, a phrase is used by the paralyzed man that should have reminded us of Holy Week. When Christ approaches the man lying by the pool of Bethesda waiting to be healed, He asked the man, “Do you want to be healed?” It is the man’s reply that should remind us of Holy Week. He said to Christ, “I have no man to put me in the water.”
When Pilate brought Christ out to the crowd in order to be crucified, he said, “Behold the Man.” It is as if Pilate in answering the man in this morning’s Gospel lesson? “Do you want to be healed? Here is the Man that can do it!” THE Man, Jesus Christ.
It is these connections in Holy Scripture that are only possible when we allow the reading of Scripture to be part of our daily lives, and when we attend Church often enough that the stories and prayers read during Church services begin to blend together into one single experience.
There are actually two stories of healing in today’s Gospel lesson, one which we hear, and one which we feel. Just as the man was sitting for thirty-eight years waiting to be healed by God, we sit in Church waiting for God to heal us. We may be physically ill, or we may suffer from a spiritual illness which is leaving us paralyzed on the side of the road of life. We may feel that we have nobody to assist us. We may even experience, as the man in the Gospel experience, many others being healed by God while we remain in our suffering.
When the man was healed by God, he took his bed and began to walk. He was a witness to God’s healing power. Today may be the day we hear the words, “Behold the Man,” and finally allow our soul to be lifted up so that we could walk and give glory to God. As we celebrated during Holy Week, and we sang with gusto during the Resurrection at Midnight, Christ has conquered death. We no longer have anything that can do us any harm. We finally have a Man, THE Man, that will lift us up, heal us, and allow us to walk through the Gates of Heaven giving glory to Him. We only have to look up to see Him.
Behold the Man…..He has come to heal us!