Liturgical readings are available here.
The prophet Ezekiel presents a magnificent vision where water flows from the temple. It becomes a powerful river, which gives life to trees and even makes the sea water fresh. The water from God brings life.
John develops on this symbolism, when he presents Jesus as the true temple from which the water of the Holy Spirit springs.
- In the argument with the Jews, Jesus states: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. And the evangelist adds that he was speaking of the temple of his body.
- Later, Jesus declares himself for the source of living water: Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.
- When Jesus hangs on the cross, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
When Jesus heals the crippled man, it is tempting to focus just on the physical healing. We feel for this man, ill for 38 years and somehow we wish to experience the same. “Do not we all need healing and health, especially in this situation of dire need?”, so we think.
Yet, there is one important part, that often remains overlooked. When Jesus encounters this man later, he reminds him: You are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you. There is much more there than just physical health or illness. Jesus wants to renew our life all the way, calling for moral integrity. This is the part that no one else can do for me. Blaming someone else, or looking for miraculous solutions will not fix the problem. Jesus reminds every person: sin no more.