From a Creighton Student's Perspective
March 4th, 2008
Junior; Pre Med majoring in Psychology and Spanish
It’s a simple question. It seems to be almost rhetorical with a clear and obvious answer, but Jesus asks it anyway: “Do you want to be well?” Most of us skim over this question due to its seemingly obvious answer for the sick man, however Jesus asks this question of all of us. In our case, Jesus’ question aims at our spiritual wellbeing, rather than merely a physical ailment. More so during this time of year, we are reminded and well aware of what Jesus went through to make us all “well”. He cared so much about making us “well” that he physically died to forgive our sins. Even though Jesus is the one asking the question, he is inviting us to take an active role in the answer.
I feel as though God is asking me that same question more and more throughout this Lenten season. He continues to encourage me to make a verbal and physical commitment to allowing him to make me well and to taking the necessary steps on my own part to ensure those changes in my life. Just like many of you are, I am focusing on particular sin tendencies in my life throughout Lent and making a point to eliminate them, convert them, or hand the temptations over to God. Through these alterations to my life, I am trying to answer Jesus’ offer to help make me well. It seems like such a simple and obvious question; however it involves a great deal of action on our part.
I consider one particular aspect of Jesus’ actions in today’s Gospel to be very powerful. Jesus knew that healing a man on the Sabbath would give the Jews a reason to begin persecuting him, but that did not stop him from helping where he was needed. The Jews wanted to find some way to downplay Jesus’ teaching, which contradicted, in some ways, their tradition. I find it somewhat ironic that the religious leaders chose to persecute Jesus for performing a good deed, however, upon further reflection, I realized that we see this even today.
Are we ever worried about persecution from others for a good deed that we are considering doing for another? On the other hand, are we ever the ones discouraging others? Perhaps we hesitate in reaching out to that person outside our traditional group of friends because we’re worried about how the rest of the group would react. Maybe we shy away from volunteering at homeless shelters, working with the less privileged, or the mentally handicapped because we feel unprepared and wonder what they’ll think of us. Regardless of how we think of the situation, we are letting someone else’s opinion or the fear of what they may think prevent us from helping another person in need.
As we continue in our Lenten journey, let’s together seek out those who could use a little more positive attention from us, regardless of what others may say or think. While we’re benefiting someone else’s life through our actions, we can say “yes” to Jesus’ question and start to make the steps towards making ourselves “well” by eliminating sinful tendencies in our lives.
Jesus asked the question not to simply get an answer, but to invite us to action.
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