The pooL @ Bethesda


         Look back on the characters in the Lenten readings, they were paralyzed, persecuted,wounded. They were offered cures that did not work, goals they could not obtain. They Suffered at the fate of man. They were clean but they did not realize it; they were told something else by the establisHment. There was hope, yet they were only just beginning to recognize it (in the same sign of the cross that dotted my forehead.)
        Great number of disabled people used to lie at the pool of Bethesda— the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. The one in the scripture reading had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
     Bethesda,beth+hesda, means “house of mercy”, it could also mean house of disgrace: It was merciful due to the healing that were to occur there, and it was disgraceful due to the swarms of invalids surrounding it. When Jesus cured the paralytic, the Pharisees were only concerned with the prohibition of carrying on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Jesus was merciful.Not only the paralytic was restored. So was Mercy….. .. . .. 

Corporal works of mercy            Spiritual works of mercy     
 To feed the hungry.                                    Instruct the uninformed  
To give drink to the thirsty.                            Counsel the doubtful  
 To shelter the homeless.                                     Admonish sinners
To clothe the naked                                        Bear wrongs patiently
To visit and ransom the captive, (prisoners).     Forgive offenses willingly
 To visit the sick.                                    – Comfort the afflicted
To bury the dead.                      – Pray for the living, the sick and the dead

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