Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent
9 March 2016
Can a woman forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child of her womb?
This line from our first reading (Is 49:8-15) hints at the tender love of a mother for her child. Surely, one of the lines in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah which we all can relate to.
However, it also wakes us up to the reality that not all mothers can be so tender. Not all mothers can offer compassion to their newborn. Not all of them can stand up to the very essence of what a mother is.
Yet though she forgets, I will never forget you.
Looking at the photos in a news magazine of some fifty women who were executed through the lethal injection in the United States, I got curious to note that at least half of them ended the lives of their own children.
The love of the mother in the first reading, which at times fails, is set side-by-side with the constancy and dependability of the love of the Father in our Gospel today (Jn 5: 17-30) which continues the narrative we heard yesterday, in which Jesus healed a paralytic. And because the healing fell on a Sabbath, Some Jews had an issue with it.
We have learnt that in the synoptic tradition, Jesus’s healings are controversial because they take place on the Sabbath, but John’s narration renders it differently.
More than emphasizing on the necessity of love over the law, he portrays a bold Jesus, a daring Jesus, who is not just some miracle worker performing a healing on a Sabbath.
Hence, if the Father continues the work even on a Sabbath. The Son must do likewise. Here, we have a Jesus who is not just justifying Himself why He does miracle on a Sabbath. He provoked them intentionally.
And as Jesus provoked them, He also has provoked us.
Since we have experienced this magnanimous love, we are also emboldened to pass it on.
And thus, in the formula of the profession of the Salesians, we pledge to devote all our strength to those to whom the Father will send us, especially to the young people who are poorer.
Let us pray that this celebration of the Holy Eucharist, which is a loving memorial of the love of the Father to His children, may truly make each of us a sign and bearer of God’s love to the young, a reminder of our response to the responsorial psalm today, the Lord is gracious and merciful.