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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-16

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"the man upstairs"?

"It was the man who cured me..." —John 5:11

Jesus healed a man born blind (Jn 9:1ff). This man didn't know Jesus previously. So when asked by the crowds who had healed him, he answered: "that man they call Jesus" (Jn 9:11). Jesus also healed a man "who had been sick for thirty-eight years" (Jn 5:5). This man also didn't know Jesus previously. When asked by the crowds who had healed him, he answered: "the man who cured me" (Jn 5:11). Both healed men began their relationship with Jesus by regarding Him as merely a "man."

As the man born blind began to adjust to life with physical sight, his eyes of faith also began to focus. He reflected joyfully on the miracle Jesus had done in his life. Before long, he proclaimed publicly that Jesus "is a Prophet" (Jn 9:17). His spiritual eyes grew sharper as he later proclaimed, despite pressure from the Jewish leaders, that Jesus came from God (Jn 9:33). Finally, upon seeing Jesus again, his spiritual eyesight improved to perfect 20-20 vision. He fell down to worship Jesus, professing Him as "Lord" (Jn 9:38; see also Rm 10:9).

Sadly, the man once sick for thirty-eight years never took the next step in relating to Jesus. He only related to Jesus as a man. Jesus visited him a second time, just as He re-visited the man born blind, to try to bring him to the next level of faith in Him (see Jn 5:14; 9:35). Yet this man, instead of coming to faith in Jesus, betrayed Him to the Jewish leaders (Jn 5:15).

This Lent, Jesus is re-visiting you to lead you to greater faith in Him. Will you take the next step, plunge into deep water (Ez 47:5), and accept Jesus as Lord?

Prayer:  Father, may I splash joyfully in Your rivers of grace. I immerse myself in Your overflowing, outpoured love (Rm 5:5).

Promise:  "The man was immediately cured." —Jn 5:9

Praise:  Sarah clings to Jesus in faith as He calls her to serve in increasingly more difficult circumstances.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009

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