The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

4th Week of Lent

Date: 
Tue, 03/28/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Following Jesus entails adopting his attitudes, making his concerns our concerns.
In today’s gospel Jesus takes the initiative.
He sees a crippled man…helpless, forgotten.
The man is in sight of the only hope he has for healing…but he is too slow.
Others in similar situations give him little notice as they push ahead of him.
He gets caught up in a pattern that repeats itself endlessly in human history:
too many needs; not enough resources.
The crippled man wasn’t alone as he sat near the pool of Bethesda…
but no doubt he was anonymous…
just another nameless human being in a sea of broken people.
I imagine every once in a while a passerby would see him and say “not my problem”.
 
There’s an old Polish saying “Not my circus; not my monkeys.”
I believe it’s meant to remind people not to stick their noses where they don’t belong…
to mind their own business.
 
Jesus purposely seeks out this place where the sick and crippled gathered.
I can’t believe it was an accidental encounter on his part.
He comes to this place and says “this is my circus;  these are my monkeys”.
 
With this miracle, Jesus requires no faith from the person in need of healing.
We don’t hear in this story Jesus saying “you’re faith has healed you”
Or “your faith has set you free”.
In this situation, compassion and generosity are totally gratuitous….unearned…unconditional.
Jesus doesn’t say “if you turn your life around, I’ll heal you”
He says “I want to give a gift to you with no strings attached”.
We don’t hear whether the healed man was even grateful for what he received.
 
How often is our compassion, our generosity totally gratuitous?
How often do we feel compassionate and generous
to the point of offering it to another without condition?
I encountered a married couple in early priesthood….
they were involved with marriage preparation.
At least once a month they would go out to dinner.
Their practice was to look around the restaurant, randomly pick a young couple,
and anonymously pay for that couple’s dinner.
It gave them a great deal of enjoyment and joy
to know that they had shared some of their blessings with “no strings attached”.
 
Jesus shows compassion and generosity because the world is his circus
and we are his monkeys.
Jesus’ business is our business
Loving is a heart that shows concern for the sake of love and for no other reason.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, we cannot earn your love.  It is given to us freely and abundantly.  Free us from the expectation and demand that others must earn our love.  Give us generous and compassionate hearts.  Amen!”