The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Scripture from today’s Liturgy of the Word:
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
John 5:1-16

A Reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:

Jesus was the one who had made him well. (John 5:15)

While attending mass at an unfamiliar parish, I approached the altar to receive Holy Communion with what I thought was a pure heart — but Jesus showed me otherwise. I looked down into the sacred vessel filled with hosts and noticed one of them was broken; it was missing a quarter of its round.

“Don’t give me that one,” I thought. But the Eucharistic Minister chose the broken host and held it up for me to take. Of course I took it, but with disappointment. I didn’t want just a part of Jesus, I wanted all of Him. I wanted all my grace, all my spiritual strength and healing — all my Heaven. Then suddenly I thought of something someone once told me: “You want all or nothing.”

Returning to the pew, I saw how my pride had abruptly overshadowed what I already knew about the Eucharist: “Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.” (Catechism, Para. 1377).

It’s me who is broken, not Jesus. With compassion, Jesus helps us to see ourselves as others do — as we truly are. It may take years, like it did for the man near the healing pool in today’s Gospel. He had been ill for 38 years, but when Jesus appears in person and asks him straight-out whether he wants to be well, the man is at long last healed, despite his uncertainties.

We, too, obtain healing grace when we receive Jesus in person. The Real Presence is the whole Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, and He comes to us in the Eucharist to make us whole, body and soul. When we come to Him in truth and humility, wanting to be healed, we never leave disappointed.

Receive Communion often, very often . . . there you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured. Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing. . . .
– St. Therese of Lisieux

– Elizabeth A. Tichvon | etichvon@comcast.net

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