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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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

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all alone?

"I do not have anyone." —John 5:7

Jesus asked the man who had been sick for 38 years whether he wanted to be healed (Jn 5:6). The man never answered Jesus' question. Instead, he lamented that he didn't have anyone to plunge him into the pool of Bethesda (Jn 5:7). Like the sick man at the pool of Bethesda, many sick people are not thinking of their sickness as much as of their loneliness and sense of being abandoned. Many of us are preoccupied with the feeling that we "have no one."

As we face loneliness, rejection, and abandonment in our lives, we can either center and wrap our lives around this loneliness or we can turn to Jesus. Jesus has promised to definitively deal with our loneliness by being with us (Mt 28:20) and within us always (Jn 17:23). We may try to compensate for our loneliness by getting attention through being and staying sick, making money, or accumulating possessions. We will probably hold unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness against those who have left us alone.

Instead of turning to our loneliness, we can turn to Jesus. He was lonelier than anyone who has ever lived when His sweat became as drops of blood at the agony in the garden (see Lk 22:44) and when He hung on the cross and cried "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mt 27:46) Jesus was in terrifying loneliness. He understands your suffering. Abandon yourself to Jesus. He will never leave you (see Heb 13:5).

Prayer:  Father, may I believe that I can never be alone for You are with me (Jn 16:32).

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

Praise:  After confessing his sexual sin, Andrew was able, by the grace of God, to sin no more (see Jn 8:11).

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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