Cleansing and Healing Waters

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Today’s Mass readings are deliciously watery. We have the life-giving waters that stream from the Temple (Ezekiel 47. 1–9, 12) and the quieter waters of the Pool of Bethesda that also cleanse and heal (John 5.1-3, 5-16). Cleanse and heal, please note, rather than cure. I wonder how often we pray for someone or something to be cured, asking for the restoration of a situation as it was before illness or disappointment struck? Biblically, however, it seems to me that we pray for cleansing and healing, to be made whole again, sound, rather than cured. The distinction may be a false one, but it makes sense to me. It is not my old life I want back again, but a new one freed of the limitations the old imposed. I take heart from the fact that the body of the Risen Christ still bore the wounds of crucifixion. Even the most appalling evil can be redeemed and transformed.

Yesterday was a difficult day for many, for all kinds of reasons. We cannot undo its sorrows as though they had never been, but we can open them up to the healing power of God. It may not happen all at once. Indeed, we may not be aware of anything at all happening; but just as water can wear away a stone, so God’s love and mercy can transform our lives. We can be cleansed and healed.


7 thoughts on “Cleansing and Healing Waters”

  1. Grateful for His Healing love just now

    Also read this
    “Later that night I held an Atlas in my lap rang my fingers across the world as whispered where does it hurt .
    It answered “ everywhere, everywhere . everywhere .
    Warsan Shire . Tearfund ,

  2. Thank you for the refreshing water of your words, diverting the course of our gloomy perception of current events towards a healing and restorative acknowledgement of God’s mysterious action in our world. Stone imperceptibly worn away indeed.

  3. It is so wonderful to have you back on line, Sister Catherine. I have missed your wise, cleansing and healing words. I am comforted today with the word “heal”. When my husband was diagnosed with a particularly brutal cancer, and then when he was dying, I prayed so hard for him to be cured. He did die, but I believe that he was healed. My prayer was heard and answered.

  4. One of the things I tend to percieve in the Gospels is what I read as Jesus’s affectionate frustration with people wanting to be cured physically, all the time, when he’d rather sort out their spiritual ills. It didn’t stop him healing both kinds of ailments, often tackling both when only one was requested, which seems like a demonstration of God’s love and generousity, even when we focus on the less important things.

  5. Once again, you have knocked the nail on the head. Thank you. My mind has gone back to Knock in Ireland. To actual pilgrims .. and then to all of us, pilgrims on our own journey. God Bless you all and bring you stillness and Peace in your hearts. With love.

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