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Tuesday, March 12, 2002

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Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalm 46
John 5:1-3, 5-16

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don't change the subject

"Jesus, Who knew he had been sick a long time, said when He saw him lying there, 'Do you want to be healed?' " —John 5:6

Ezekiel's miraculous river and the pool of Bethesda are brought to our attention by the Church to help us think of the miraculous waters of Baptism. In this context, Jesus' question to the man at the pool can be re-phrased from "Do you want to be healed?" to "Do you want to live your Baptism?"

The sick man changed the subject to avoid answering Jesus' question. He talked about no one helping him and about being a victim of circumstances. When we are asked on Easter to renew our baptismal promises, will we also change the subject? We will if we haven't let God change our hearts. Will we try to evade Jesus' question by talking about the weaknesses and hypocrisy of other Christians who should be supporting us? Will we blame our parents and families so as to portray ourselves as victims of circumstances? Or will we honestly admit that we want many things much more than we want to live our Baptism?

We should take responsibility for our weakened spiritual condition. Then by God's grace we can repent and renew our Baptisms. Soon Jesus will question us: "Do you reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises? Do you believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?" Don't change the subject. Change your heart.

Prayer:  Father, I believe. Help my lack of faith! (Mk 9:24, our transl.)

Promise:  "Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live." —Ez 47:9

Praise:  Fearful that saying yes to God would only lead to greater pain and suffering, Lisa accepted the grace to say, "Not my will, but Yours be done" and experienced a new awakening in the Spirit.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001