Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
“Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him,
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.
Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
“It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”
He answered them, “The man who made me well told me,
‘Take up your mat and walk.’“
They asked him,
“Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
“Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath. JN 5:1-16
When Jesus is not preaching, it is interesting, being the Son of Man (God on earth) what company he decides to spend time with. Jesus only spends 3 years of his 33 year life revealing the Divine Truths of the Father necessary for salvation to us. We find Jesus with the ill, blind, lame, and crippled. Why did Jesus choose this man among many? Jesus knew people’s hearts. This man had been ill for 38 years and he had no one to help him. This man knew how to suffer, must have had hope, and believed Jesus could help him.
Suffering for 38 years! If I suffer for more than an hour, even 30 minutes, heck even for an instant, I want to be relieved. This is part of our nature, our bodies hate to suffer. Jesus even proves this himself in the Agony of the Garden saying, “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.” Lk 22:42. If we ask God to reveal His heart to us, we will find that love likes to suffer.
God sent His only Son into the world to save us, not condemn us by dying on a cross after suffering the Passion. Love likes to suffer and suffering brings joy, therefore love brings joy. Think about it, Jesus was the happiest, holiest, most joyful Man on earth when he died on the cross. He had the mission to save humanity, our need is filled by this action the Father asked of Him. He completed it and it required a ton of suffering!
Martyrs and saints, who spent their lives asking Jesus to reveal His heart to them and reflecting on the Passion of Christ learned this great paradox-suffering brings joy and reveals Christ’s heart. Therefore, they spent their lives fasting, praying, and inducing pain upon themselves. Martyr means “witness”. They were witnesses of Christ suffering even to the point of death. They went to their death with joy to suffer because they understood Christ’s heart and wanted to suffer with Him. They knew this brought everlasting life, but more importantly they wanted to love Jesus back for His love of them. Perfect love has no fear (1JN 4:18), even fear of death.
Amazing! I fall into worldly ways of comfort and luxury every day. I need to learn from Jesus, the saints and martyrs and find ways to become poor, blind, weak, and ill in my life so I can partake in the love of Christ and love Him back. Christ on the cross gives us a reason to suffer, bear our daily crosses, and take the risk of loving. Love is giving our whole self, body and soul, to another in the most intimate way.
Christ, our perfect model, teaches us how to suffer by giving us himself, body, blood, soul, and divinity on the Cross and remains with us to be intimate with Him in the Eucharist. What an amazing God! We find God in the ill, poor, and suffering. If we find ourselves with the ill, poor, or suffering today, may we embrace them like Christ. You don’t have to look far, they are in the same room as you right now!
Today’s challenge: Suffer, love Christ back, and experience peace and joy. Go to confession, reconcile yourself with God, and be ready to fight and suffer for Christ. Suffer with others (compassion). You will never regret it for all eternity!
Be a servant, Become a saint!