This morning I had the privilege of celebrating Mass at Holy Trinity on the occasion of rededicating their Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. Earlier this winter, drain pipes froze in the roof above the chapel. With a heavy snow pack still on the roof, when the pipe thawed, it led to a major rush of water through the ceiling and down the walls of the chapel.
The readings of the day were perfect for such an occasion. I have always be intrigued by the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel Chapter 47) of water flowing from the altar of the temple. The water was a trickle at first, and it flowed from the temple creating a stream, and then a river, until it empties into the sea, making the salt waters fresh. Along the banks of the river, the fruit trees bear fruit every month!
The Gospel today takes place at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where the ill, the blind and the lame would come to find healing by entering the waters of the Pool when it was stirred. A man who had been ill for thirty eight years is discovered there by the Pool by Jesus. Now, the Font of Living Water arrives at the Pool in Person, and heals the man telling him: “Rise, pick up your mat and walk.”
One cannot help but think of the crucified Jesus, hanging from the cross, and when His side is pierced with a lance, immediately there flowed a stream of water and blood. Jesus is the true temple. The Eucharist is the continual presence of Christ in the Church. When we adore Christ in the Eucharist, we gaze into His open side to His most Sacred Heart. This Heart of Christ reveals the infinite love of Christ, and from this Heart the Blood of our redemption flows freely and amply.
How many Masses have been celebrated since this great gift of redemption? From the altars of the Church began and continues to flow, at first a trickle, and then a stream, and then a river, creating a sea of life for all who believe. The Eucharist is the very presence of Christ, worthy of our adoration.
May all who gaze upon Christ present in the Eucharist come to know the warmth and depths of his love. And as the fruit trees along the banks of the river of the stream that flowed from the temple in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, may each of our lives bear much fruit – the fruit that first fell from the tree of the cross – the fruit of Love.