“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?’” – Jn. 5:6

On a number of occasions, Jesus approaches a person who is ill or crippled or blind with a question.  He asks if a person wants to be healed, or he simply asks, “What do you want of me?” When I imagine Jesus asking me this question, I have to stop and think. Yes, I want to be healed; we all do. But how much do I want it? How attached am I to my illness? Am I willing to change the way I live in order to live healed? Like the man in today’s gospel reading, I am flawed, but Jesus has mercy and compassion for me.

Body and Soul

Having stepped off the edge,
my legs pump the air, a cartoon
wanting to fly
and at the same time to go back.

I offer myself with
words of good news,
open myself to the world
without fear-

Hungering for oneness,
I feast on community
and, unfortunately,
whatever else gives comfort.

My heart feels heavy
for the ones who are lost,
wanting to save them, yes,
even those who hate me.

On my shoulders, I feel
my children and others
I have influenced, for better
or for worse, God forbid.
Love lightens the burden.

My hands write the words
told by my heart, and sometimes
told by You,
and these hands serve. Is it enough?

My voice sings songs of faith,
and I turn my eyes to Jesus
and feel his pain as he says with a sigh,
“I love you, and I love them too.”

In my mind the sadness of regret
for what I might have done mingles
with the joy of doing Your will
With tears, I remember damage done
out of fear, but, also with tears,
and gratitude,
I remember Your love.

Imagine Jesus asking you, “What do you want of me?”

Sharon Sullivan

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