Commentary on the Gospel of
In a vision Ezekiel saw a river flowing from the Temple and by the Altar. River symbolises life that flows from God. God’s life which is gentle, powerful and creative expands as it flows. The life-giving nature of water that flows from the Temple shows the power of God to transform lives. The Gospel scene today that St. John narrates is similar to the experience of Ezekiel. It happened at Sheep Gate that is called Bethesda meaning ‘House of Mercy’.
Many people had come to bathe there in the hope that their various afflictions would be cured. As Jesus walked among those gathered there, he paused next to one man who could not walk. He had no one to help him and therefore he lost his hope of getting healed ever. Jesus took care of his deepest need. He said to him, ‘rise, pick up your mat, and walk.’ Jesus did not offer to help him to the pool to be cured; he healed him on his own. Jesus demonstrated his divine power to heal at a site that had been associated with healing by the merit of water for hundreds of years. People began to experience a new spring of life-giving water in Jesus. The Son of God was walking among those waiting to be cured, yet many did not recognize him as the source of true life.
We need to recognize Jesus continually walking with us. From his fountain of mercy, he heals us physically and spiritually. He will never let us be alone in our suffering and brokenness. Walk with Him.