In today’s first reading, Ezekiel sees this little stream coming out from underneath the altar, around the south side of the temple, which flows down to a river. There is a stream that comes out from underneath the south wall of the temple in Jerusalem. It flows down into the pool of Bethesda. This is the connection between today’s readings; that was the water that filled up the pool.
At this pool of Bethesda, the paralyzed man waits to be the first to get into the pool as soon as the water is stirred. They believe that when the waters are stirred up, it is the angel of the Lord that comes down. The first person to enter the water will be healed. Being paralyzed, the man is never able to enter the pool first.
“Do you want to be healed?” This is the same question that each one of us needs to ask ourselves also. The river in the first reading begins as a little, tiny stream but ends up as a river where Ezekiel has to swim through. So it is also with our spiritual life. Do we want to grow in holiness and spiritually?
The river in today’s Gospel is about the symbol of grace. It is the
Holy Spirit at work; it is the grace of God. Perhaps we ask ourselves:
“Why is it that the saints can do many extraordinary things while I
can barely do even the littlest and tiniest things?” Is it because the
saints are swimming in the river, while most of us are still wandering
around in the little trickle from the side of the temple? Are we
willing to swim in the river, follow its flow and become completely
immersed in God’s grace?