EZ 47: 1-9, 12
PS 46: 2-3, 5-6, 8-9
PS 51: 12A, 14A
JN 5: 1-16
The Struggle to “Be Well”
In the Gospel for today, Jesus asks the simple question to a disabled man, “Do you want to be well?” Rather than answering Jesus directly, he tells Jesus of the predicament of reaching the healing pools before others get their opportunity to do so. Jesus then relieves all of this man’s worries by saying to “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” This is a classic telling of Jesus healing one of his people with nothing but touch (or in this case, words). Yet there is much power held in that one question that Jesus asks. “Do you want to be well?”
My name is Zayna Abusada, and I am a senior here at SLU studying history and theology. As of this moment, I have about two months until I go off into the yet unknown and graduate from a place I’ve called home for four years. As such, I have asked myself many questions like the one Jesus asks the disabled man: Do you want to be well? For me, this does not necessarily mean physically well. This is instead Jesus asking us if we want to be spiritually well in our minds, hearts, and souls. Do we, as children of Him, truly want to be well within Him so that we can enjoy the closeness of our Savior?
This Lent, this may be a good thing to ask ourselves. Lent seems to be all about spiritual reconstruction in order to give our lives greater devotion to God in the hope that we can rejuvenate our faith in a way to match the message of the longest waiting period of the liturgical year. Many of us (including myself) ask what we can do to give up or do in order to gain repentance or become better people in the anticipation of Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection. However, maybe the question we should truly be asking is not what we can do to repent to God during Lent, but whether or not we want to be well within this season in order to enjoy the spirituality of it. This may be as simple as taking more time to reflect and pray throughout the day during Lent, and then perhaps carrying that habit all the liturgical seasons after. Or maybe it is a drastic as doing an entire spiritual overview of your life thus far, going to Reconciliation, and making a plan about how you as a Christian are going to move forward in a healthier spiritual direction with your mind, body, and soul after this Lenten season, no matter what that may be.
“Being well” has a different meaning and connotation for all of us. Yet, “be well” is a common blessing amongst loved ones when one is going through a hardship. The people around us want us to be well, both with ourselves and with God. This Lenten season, let us listen to ourselves more about being well in mind, body, and spirit, seeking the voice that Jesus has inside all of us asking us, “do you want to be well?” When you decide that you do, or even if you struggle to do so, Jesus will always be there to help us rise, pick up our burdens, and walk with Him.
Blessings and Love,