One Minute Reflection – 11 March – Ember Friday of the First Week of Lent – Ezechiel 18:10-28, John 5:1-15
“Jesus said to him, “Do you wish to be healed?” The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool’ … Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your pallet and walk.” And at once the man was cured.” – John 5:6-8
REFLECTION – “We read in the Old Testament that in the times of Noah, since all humankind had been won over by sin, heaven’s floodgates opened and rain poured down for forty days… This was a symbol – it was less about a flood, than about a baptism. For it was indeed a baptism that bore away the misdeeds of the sinners and spared the uprightness of Noah. And so today, just as it was then, our Lord has given Lent to us so that the skies can open for the same number of days to inundate us with the floods of divine mercy. Once washed in the saving waters of baptism, this Sacrament enlightens us and, just as formerly, its waters bear away the evil of our sins and confirm the uprightness of our virtues.
Today’s situation is just the same as in Noah’s time. Baptism is flood to sinners and consecration for the faithful. In Baptism the Lord rescues justice and destroys injustice. We can see this in the example of one and the same man – before he was cleansed by the spiritual commands, the Apostle Paul, was a persecutor and blasphemer (1Tm 1,13). But once he had been bathed with the heavenly rain of Baptism, the blasphemer died, the persecutor died, Saul died. Then the Apostle, the just man, Paul, came to life… Anyone who lives Lent in a religious manner and observes the Lord’s decrees will see sin die in him and grace come to life… such as these die as sinners and live as righteous persons.” – St Maximus of Turin (?-c 420), Bishop – Sermon for Lent 50
PRAYER – Forgive my sins, O my God, forgive my sins:
the sins of youth, the sins of age, the sins of my soul and the sins of my body,
the sins which, through frailty, I have committed, my deliberate and grievous sins,
the sins I know and the sins I do not know, the sins I have laboured so long to hide from others, that now they are hidden from my own memory.
Let me be absolved from all these iniquities and delivered from the bond of all these evils, by the Life, Passion and Death of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen