"The man was immediately cured; he picked up his mat and began to walk." —John 5:9
At the pool of Bethesda, Jesus healed a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years (Jn 5:5). Although Jesus had dramatically changed this man's life, the man did not know Who Jesus was (Jn 5:13) and had not as yet given up his sins (Jn 5:14).
At the baptismal font or pool where we were baptized, Jesus gave us a new nature. We became new creations (Gal 6:15) and were begotten from above (Jn 3:3, 5). Although Jesus has changed our lives, many baptized people do not know Jesus personally and have not given up their sins.
Just as Jesus sought out the man He had healed, so through His Church He seeks out each of us. He calls us to renew our baptismal promises by rejecting Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises, and by believing in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. On Easter, Jesus will say to all the baptized: "Give up your sins so that something worse may not overtake you" (Jn 5:14).
We do not know whether the man healed at the waters of Bethesda came to know Jesus and to repent of his sins. Will we who have been changed through the waters of Baptism know Jesus and repent?
Prayer: Father, may I live the radical newness of my Baptism.
Promise: "Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fall. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary." —Ez 47:12
Praise: Rod and Pete gave their lives to Jesus. In turn, Jesus has made great use of their skills in construction to build and renovate two retreat centers and chapels.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000