A Day at the Spa! Could Jesus Swim? – Jn 5:1-6†

Jeanine and the boys come home today.  Four days gone, and I have a cleaning crew coming in to put the house back in order.  I am amazed at messy the boys can get the house; even when they aren’t there!

Today’s reflection is about Jesus third miracle.


Quote or Joke of the Day:


Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train handlers to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.



Today’s Meditation:


There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep (Gate) a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.  In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.  One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” (NAB Jn 5:1-6)


Jesus must have loved food.  It seems He was always going to a feast, or feeding the masses.  Actually, in the time of Jesus, all business dealings of any importance was associated with food.  Contracts and other business dealings were often overlapped with banquets.  This practice continues today: weddings have “rehearsal dinners” and celebrations after the marriage ceremony.  We also have “business lunches,” and so on.  

The self-revelation of Jesus continues in Jerusalem, at yet another feast. His third sign (miracle) of His divine nature is performed at this pool of water.  He cures a paralytic by His “life-giving” word of “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”  The water of the pool, in this story, fails to bring life; but Jesus’ word does.  

Some scholars say this feast could have been Pentecost or Passover.  Regardless, the writer of this gospel reading, John, stresses that the day was a Sabbath day.  Performing this miracle on the Sabbath again brought Jesus under the scrutiny of the temple leaders.  They considered this as a breaking of the law to do no work on the Sabbath.  

The word “Gate” is supplied on the grounds that there must have been a gate in the NE wall of the temple area where animals for sacrifice were brought in.  The Aramaic word “Bethesda” is the name of a double pool of water northeast of the temple area.  Interestingly, a pool was excavated in Jerusalem that actually had the five porticoes described.  Maybe this is the “Bethesda” mentioned.  

 Apparently a spring in the pool bubbled up occasionally in this pool.  Tradition holds that this turbulence was believed to cure the first to enter the pool.  Towards the end of the second century in the West; and among the fourth-century Greek Fathers, an additional verse was added to this gospel reading: “For an angel of the Lord used to come down into the pool; and the water was stirred up, so the first one to get in [after the stirring of the water] was healed of whatever disease afflicted him.”   The angel was a popular explanation of the turbulence and the healing powers attributed to it for the early Christians. This verse is not in any early Greek manuscripts, nor in the earliest versions of the written bible, including the original Vulgate.  

“Lord, through baptism you stirred the waters of my faith and love for you.  Please keep stirring up the ‘water’ within me so my love for you continues to grow.  Amen”  


Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO




Catholic Saint of the Day:  St. Abban


Abbot and Irish missionary. An Irish prince, Abban was the son of King Cormac of Leinster. He is listed as the nephew of St. Ibar. Abban founded many churches in the old district of Ui Cennselaigh, in modern County Wexford and Ferns. His main monastery is Magheranoidhe, in Adamstown, Ireland. This monastery’s fame is attributed in some records to another Abban, that of New Ross. Abban is also associated with Kill-Abban Abbey in Leinster, serving as abbot there until March 16, 620. He is revered in Adamstown, which was once called Abbanstown.  His feast day is March 16.

 (From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)


Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #16:


Let them esteem work both as a gift and as a sharing in the creation, redemption, and service of the human community.


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