Living for others

Tuesday Week 4 Lent 
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12
John 5:1-16

The WORD in Other Words by Br Eugenio Orog SVD (Philippines)

Jesus heals the sick man at the pool of Bethesda

It is said that our life is for others. An external connection is deeply embedded in  our nature as social beings. In the movie “Into the Wild,” inspired by the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man abandons his life of comfort to pursue the   freedom on the road, a quest that leads him to the Alaskan wilderness and the ultimate challenge of his life. As he is dying alone he says: “No one can be happy all by oneself.”

In the song of Fr. Eduardo Hontiveros, S.J. “Pananagutan” (Responsibility).  the lyrics say, “Walang sinuman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang, walang sinuman and  namamatay para sa sarili lamang.” (No one lives or dies for oneself alone). Indeed,   we are for others.   

When Jesus asked the sick man who suffered illness for 38 years, “Do you want to be healed?” the sick man responded: “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, while on my way someone else gets down there before me.”   Yet there were so many of them, sick people like him at the pool of Bethesda. 

Could it be that they were just too concerned of their individual selves and their conditions that they did not have time to help one another? So Jesus had to come in. 

However, when the sick man was healed with the Jesus‘ help, he was rebuked by the Jews. “It is the  Sabbath, why are you carrying your mat?” For them he was violating the rule of the Sabbath–an external consideration.   In life, the internal aspect matters first and foremost; the external comes only next. 

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