March 4

Readings: Ezek 47:1-9,12; Jn 5:1-16

"Do you want to be well?" Jn 5:6

"Uncle Max, I can't sing, I have a sore finger!" says the tiny Gretl in The Sound of Music.

Making excuses can be easier than doing what must be done. Sometimes we need an outside source to remind us of our priorities. What do we really want?

Jesus did this for the man at Bethesda. Known as the "mercy pool," Bethesda was a site where large numbers of people went hoping to be cured of illness and infirmity. When Jesus approaches the man and asks, "Do you want to be well?" the question seems odd at first glance. But Jesus knows the inner makeup of this man who has been ill for almost four decades. And we get to know a little of him, too, from his answer. He doesn't say, "Yes! Of course, I want to be well!" Instead, he explains why he cannot receive the benefits of the "mercy pool."

How fortunate we are that Jesus is willing to make the first move to help us change, too. Did you ever feel like you can't change? Like there are too many obstacles?

Consider what St. Faustina wrote in her Diary in a section called "Conversation of the Merciful God with a Despairing Soul." This soul is steeped in misery and darkness. God invites the soul to confide in Him. The soul instead continues to believe "for me there is no mercy," and wraps itself in darkness. "The soul begins to understand God's effort, but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest" (Diary, 1486).

Let's put aside any excuses and seek Jesus, the Living Water.

Thank You, Jesus, for the grace and mercy You offer. Help me to seek out and accept the healing change that You want for me. Amen.

Lk 9:23

1428, 1436-37

Diary of St. Faustina

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