Scripture: Lectionary 247. Isaiah 49:8-15. Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18. John 5:17-30:

Consolation and belief are our motivational themes for this Lenten day.  We are inspired by Isaiah’s handing on to us his direct message from God.  We are inspired to live in the presence of God and to realize that God’s care for us and love for us is stronger that our own mother’s love.  “Can a mother forget her infant…. Even though she forget, I will never forget you.”  God is more than a mother or father for us in the tenderness and love that is expressed in the prophetic message we have from Isaiah.  This is one of the most beautiful images of God that we have in all of Scripture and it is ours to ponder and cherish on this Lenten Wednesday.

Psalm 145 is a wonderful hymn of praise done with each letter of the alphabet as it moves on in its verses.  We again feel the comfort and consolation of the Lord in the response: “The Lord is kind and merciful.” (Psalm 145:8).  God’s name is present throughout reminding us of God in our life.  We attempt then to live within that consoling and supporting presence.  God is extolled fourteen times in this Psalm.  And it extends to all of us and to all of creation. The word “all” bespeaks of the prayer’s universality since it is mentioned ten times within the psalm that is leading the scroll of  all of the psalms to their glorious end. It is also fitting for Easter because of the Alleluia spirit within its alphabetical praise.

John’s Gospel is now given to us as we near Holy Week.  We started with it last week and will continue to be our spiritual nourishment for the last trek of our Lenten Journey.  We hear of the third sign after listening to the two signs already given to us.  The paralytic has been healed and appears in the Temple discussing his cure with the priests.  He is purified of his sins and also healed of his bodily infirmity.  Jesus did not have to let him down into the waters of the five sided pool of Bethesda.  Throughout the first twelve chapters of John we are being led by Jesus to deepen our trust and our faith in him. This is a personal commitment and lived decision by us in John’s Gospel.  We are able to do this not only because of the signs and words of Jesus but also by realizing his presence through our faith in him.  He continues to work “up to now” just  as the Father does on our behalf.  The salvation promised by God is given each day.  We need only to respond and believe in the presence of Jesus in our hearts and in our sacraments.  Amen.