March 29th Homily - Fr Alberic Farbolin
Brothers, we all feel our hearts warmed and gladdened by today’s gospel account of the man, lame, unable to walk who, with a word from Jesus, gets up and walks for the first time in 38 years. Rejoicing in this manifestation of God’s goodness in the working of a miracle, we are tempted to imagine the good of the miraculous cure as being something different from the goodness of Jesus himself as a person. But they are the same. If this man who hasn’t walked in 38 years is suddenly walking, that is because he just met Jesus, the Son of God who is the Word, and Wisdom, and Goodness of God made flesh. The cure is not something different than our Lord. The Lord is the cure. When you meet him, you walk with him, even if you never walked before in your life, so completely is a human heart captured by the beauty, goodness, and truth of His adorable person. In his Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis writes: “How grateful we should be that our Lord has shown us the way to attain heaven. But He Himself is our way. “Your life, is our way”, Thomas writes and by holy patience we walk on toward you, who are our crown.” Note: He does not say we walk toward Jesus hastily, or excitedly, or energetically, but “by holy patience”. Our walking is a walking after Jesus; a curiously passive walking whose movement is the attraction to a person without whom, we would be unable to take one step or even move. Thomas says: Lord, if you had not gone before us, who would have had any desire to walk? How many of us would be lame, motionless and without zeal to do anything if we did not have before us the glorious face of our Savior drawing us up and onward toward God’s kingdom? As it is, we remain rather tepid. Imagine what we would be like if the example and beautiful visage of the Lord Jesus were not revealed to us in the scriptures and in the sacrament of his body and blood. Today, the voice of Jesus, fully alive; says to each of us personally: “Rise. Get up and walk!” May his voice speak to the hearts of each of us and fill us with zeal to follow him through these remaining days of Lent, to Jerusalem, Calvary, the tomb, to Easter Sunday, and to life everlasting.