Morning Prayer, 25 Jan – John 5:1-18 ~ do you want to be healed

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence – Oswald of Northumbria (605-42)

This day is Your gift to me; I take it, Lord, from Your hand and thank You for the wonder of it.

Lord, hasten the day when those who fear You in every nnation will come from the east and west, from north and south, and sit at table in Your Kingdom. And, Lord, let Your glory be seen in our land.

Morning readings

John 5:1-18 ESV:

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Time to Heal - Ornate Clock

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids — blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Reflections / Prayer:

Exercise in futility

The man is there with no one to help him. So here is an unpredictable source of healing that can affect only a few people, and this man has no hope of getting healed anyway because he cannot get to the pool. In other words, this is a situation of utter hopelessness and futility.

But while the man cannot get to the pool, Jesus can get to him. The man is met by the one who is the stable, constant source not just of healing but of life itself, indeed, of eternal life.
(The IVP New Testament Commentary Series)

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Revealing question

What would we say to Jesus if he asked us whether we wanted to be healed of our own illnesses, physical or otherwise? Do we want to be rid of our addictions and other sins? Ten minutes hard thought on this question could lead us to new depths of repentance.

God finds each of us as helpless as this man. The good news is that he desires to grant each of us life, not necessarily mere healing in this life, but eternal life beginning now.
(The IVP New Testament Commentary Series)

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Conversion of St Paul (This feast is celebrated in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches and concludes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.)

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some… have told me about your quarrels….

Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! …For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News — and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.

1 Corinthians 1:1-17 NLT

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Christian Unity

Together we proclaim anew the good news prophesied in Isaiah, fulfilled in our Lord Jesus, preached by the Apostle Paul, and received by the Church. Facing honestly the differences we have and the labels of denomination we embrace, may we never lose sight of the common mandate we have in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul is sent “to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power” (1 Cor 1:17). The path to unity is to be found in the power of the cross.

The Gospel we proclaim is made tangible and relevant to us as we bear witness to the work of Jesus Christ in our own lives and the life of the Christian community.
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Canticle:

Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Peanut Gallery: A brief word of explanation – the general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) The Scripture readings are primarily from the Gospel of John, with the intent to complete the reading by Easter. Other Scriptures which illuminate the Gospel of John will be included along the way.

Reflections from various saints will be included as their memorial days occur during the calendar year.

On Sundays, I’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world.

Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.



Categories: Life in Christ

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1 reply

  1. The man Jesus healed had been lame for 38 years. Imagine! Most people learn to manage and their defect sometimes becomes a crutch. A very long time for that defect. I wondered if the man really wanted to be healed?

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