Tuesday of the fourth Week of Lent
(Ezekiel 47:1-9.12; John 5:1-16)
Laetare Sunday marked more than the midpoint of Lent. It changed the theme of the season from penance to renewal. No more will the mass readings emphasize our fasting, praying, and service to the poor. From now until Holy Week we will hear of being recreated for eternal life. Today’s readings provide good examples.
Ezekiel shows how water, a universal symbol of life, flows from God’s Temple. It becomes a torrent providing a storehouse of food and a treasury of medicines. The gospel replaces the Temple with Jesus. He is the source of healing grace that restores strength to the lame of body and spirit.
Both repentance and renewal are God’s initiatives. And both require human assent. We often close ourselves to God’s grace by adopting the false ideals that our egos and our culture propose. We need to forsake images of being too cool to care or too hot to handle. In doing so, we will find God enabling us to flourish forever.