A Chicago Jesuit told me about a homeless man who was afraid of the future. He was not afraid of homelessness; rather, he was afraid that he might one day get off the streets. He knew what it was to be homeless, but he could not even think of a different way of life.
Imagine! Thirty-eight years crippled by the side of the Pool of Bethesda. How often the man from the gospel must have seen people step into the water and come out changed. How often he was envious of their healing. How often he recoiled in fear at the thought of being first into the water, emerging changed forever. How often he lied to others, but not to himself, that no one would help him and so he could not be healed.
After Christ heals him, it is as if the crippled man needs to be informed that he is healed. Christ draws his attention to the healing change in his life that he seems to avoid accepting. Like the homeless man, it is as if he cannot face this new way of living. Christ tells him and us, that we must accept the healing in our lives or something worse may yet come.
How does Christ come to find me today to tell me I am healed? In what areas of my life am I resistant to accepting God’s healing touch?
—Cyril Pinchak, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic teaching English at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, Detroit MI. He is also a published poet.