Seize the Opportunity
“Yes, I want to be healed,” said the invalid. He had answered the invitation to become
aware of his condition.
According to the Evangelist John, there was a magical pool in Jerusalem where people lined up to be healed. It was said that an angel of the Lord at certain seasons would stir up the water and the first person who entered the pool at that time would be healed of his or her disease.
Jesus, saw a man there who had been suffering of a chronic disease. For over 38 years he had been waiting for a cure. He confessed to Jesus that because of his condition he was too slow to jump into the water when it was stirred and someone inevitably beat him into the water. “I have no one to put me into the water when it is stirred.”
Yesterday we were challenged by the question, “Do you want to be healed?” Of course we do. It was important that we articulated our wish with the words, “Yes, I want to be healed.” Today we find that equally important to articulating our wish is to rid ourselves of the notion that our healing is dependent on someone else taking advantage of the opportunity.
Like the man at the pool, it is easy for us to believe that our healing is dependent on someone else initiating the process. Perhaps a friend or a loved one? Perhaps we’re relying on a business associate who will introduce us to “right” people so we can get ahead? Or we might be waiting for an estranged partner to give the signal that he or she is ready to take us back? In the case of physical disease, we might put all of our trust and faith in a doctor who is a specialist in the field of our illness? We go after wonder drugs that promise weight loss or smoking cessation; we turn to courses and even equipment that will improve our condition. We wait for programs that will lower our payments and give us financial success. And if we don’t have that person, that thing or that program, it’s only natural that we blame them for our situation: “I have no one to place me in the water when it is stirred.”
Actually, the people, things and events are the opportunitiesin our lives. They are not the ones or things that can initiate the healing process for us. It is up to us to want the healing and then to act.
“There’s no one to put me in the water when opportunity comes,” said the man and Jesus paid no attention to that. It didn’t matter. No, Jesus did not place the man in the water; instead he healed him because Jesus himself was the healing. He gave the man a new opportunity and the water, the angel and the magic pool became irrelevant to this man’s healing process. In the same way, we look for wonders and miracles, we search for inspiration and people who can move us to freedom, when in reality the only one who can initiate the process of healing is us, ourselves. Only you can take advantage of the opportunity for healing and it begins with the simple awareness of wanting to be healed.
“Rise, take up your bed and walk,” said Jesus to the man, after he articulated and became aware of his own shortcomings.
On this third day of Lent, the challenge is to look within and without, to find the opportunities that are around us. Ignore the obstacles. Find the opportunities that follow your awareness statement, Yes, I want to be healed.
I look forward to continuing on this journey with you tomorrow, when we explore the opportunities for healing. Until then, this is Fr. Vazken, praying with you for the strength to say, Yes I want to be healed.
Reference: John 5