“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

It’s passages like the gospel for today that make me fall in love with Jesus. Jesus, as God incarnate, knew the man he encountered outside of Bethsaida was ill and that the man did not know who he was. Still, he asks, “Do you want to be well?” I wonder why. As I prayed with this passage, I imagined myself as the man in need of healing and Jesus, looking at me tenderly, asking me the same question. I pause, I think about my life – the heartbreak, my health diagnosis, my friendships –  and tears start falling down my face. I do want to be well, but… I resist… I put on my headphones and Amazon music goes to the song “Saturn.” More tears. I do want to be well, Lord. I repeatedly say. For the first time in a long time, I don’t ask for anything; I don’t demand anything. Jesus already knows. I let the tender gaze of Jesus look upon me and I hear a whisper, “Keep going, I am with you.” 

I wonder if this is more about the abundant grace that is made available through Jesus than the drama of the pharisees. Like the story says, Jesus has already taken the initiative, Jesus already know us and our needs. More importantly, Jesus seems to wait for us to respond. I often am quick to analyze the quality of my response. Do I mean it? Should I put more effort into my Lenten practices? What else needs reform in my life? But today I am reminded that the simple acknowledgement of my needs before God is enough, because God’s grace is already at work.

I invite you to pray with the passage and/or song, and to imagine our Lord asking you, “Do you want to be well? Focus, not on what you ought to do or say, but on whom is asking this of you.
Sleep At Last – Saturn

Ana Lopez