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The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.— Psalm 46:8
Mass readings: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 / John 5:1-16
Teaching at the Naval Academy means enduring the rote answers the students are trained to give. For example, if a student fails to turn in an essay, a professor might ask: “Why didn’t you turn in your paper?” The student is trained to answer, “No excuse.” Such an answer is useless. Sometimes, in life, there are very real and very solid excuses for our inability to act.
The invalid in today’s Gospel is often given short shrift as we discuss the passage. He’s frequently seen as a man who offers excuses rather than do anything to help himself. That isn’t a fair assessment. When Jesus asks him, “Do you want to be well?” it’s not any sort of accusation. It’s Jesus’ gentle and rhetorical indication that a miracle is about to occur.
Prayer: Merciful Lord, help me be merciful with my limitations and those of others.
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