Posted by: frburke23 | March 31, 2014

Thought for Tuesday, 4th Week of Lent

John 5:1-16 There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.


I love these healing stories of Jesus in the Gospels.  Today Jesus heals a man who had been ill for 38 years.  The first thing I noticed was that Jesus knew this man and that he had been ill for a long time.  In a similar way, Jesus knows you and me.  He knows our illnesses, our sins, our infirmities, our struggles, our crosses.  He knows everything about us, whether we realize that or not.  There is nothing we can hide from God.

Secondly, Jesus asks the man, “Do you want to be well?”  Jesus asks us the same question.  Do you want to stay in your state of misery, pain and suffering?  Or do you want to be healed?  Of course, this question seems obvious, but sometimes we hold on to our pain.  We have experienced the pain for so long that it has become a part of us.  Maybe we were hurt many years ago and we don’t know how to find healing. Or we don’t know what life will be like if we allow Jesus into that hidden or wounded area of our life… Or if we open up to a friend we think they might run away screaming… Or we can’t seem to forgive that person who hurt us…

The man in the Gospel begins to make excuses why he has not been able to get to the pool of water that heals.  But Jesus is the source of all healing and He now stands before the man.  We too make excuses for not seeking healing.  We don’t have time for it.  Or we blame the Church on one of its ministers.  We have excuses why we don’t go to church, why we don’t pray, why we don’t have time to read the Bible.

But Jesus is asking us directly, “Do YOU want to be healed?”  It is from the blood and water that flow from His side that we find healing.  He will not let us down if we turn to Him.  Jesus always wants to love us and heal us.  Being vulnerable is not easy; in fact, it is quite scary.  But when we open our hearts to the grace of Jesus Christ, He will change our lives forever.  Take time today in prayer to relate with Jesus what is going on in your heart.

Do you want to be healed?

Do you make excuses why you don’t go to Jesus for healing?

Can I let go of control and allow the Lord to transform me from the inside out?

God bless,

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

Juan 5:1-16

Hubo una fiesta de los Judíos, y Jesús subió a Jerusalén.
Y hay en Jerusalén, en la puerta de las Ovejas
una piscina llamada en hebreo Betsata, con cinco pórticos.
En éstos yacía una gran cantidad de enfermos, ciegos, cojos y lisiados.
Estaba allí un hombre que había estado enfermo durante treinta y ocho años.
Cuando Jesús lo vio tendido allí,
y sabiendo que había estado enfermo durante mucho tiempo, él le dijo:
“¿Quieres curarte?”
El enfermo le respondió:
“Señor, no tengo a nadie que me sumerja en la piscina
cuando el agua se agite;
mientras que estoy en camino, alguien más llega antes que yo”.
Jesús le dijo: “Levántate, toma tu camilla y anda”.
Inmediatamente, el hombre quedó sano, tomó su camilla y camino.

Y aquel día era día de reposo.
Así que los Judíos le dijeron al hombre que había sido sanado:
“Es sábado, y no te es permitido llevar tu camilla.”
Él les respondió, “El hombre que me sanó me dijo:
‘Toma tu camilla y anda. ”
Ellos le preguntaron:
“¿Quién es el hombre que te dijo:” Toma tu camilla y anda ‘? ”
El hombre que había sido sanado no sabía quién era,
porque Jesús se había escabullido, ya que había una multitud allí.
Después de esto Jesús lo encontró en el templo y le dijo:
“Mira, has sido sanado; no peques más,
para que nada peor pueda pasarte”.
El hombre se fue y les dijo a los Judíos
que Jesús era el que lo había sanado.
Por lo tanto, los Judíos comenzaron a perseguir a Jesús
porque hizo esto en sábado.


Me encantan estas historias de sanación de Jesús en los Evangelios. Hoy Jesús sana a un hombre que había estado enfermo durante 38 años. Lo primero que noté fue que Jesús conocía a este hombre y que había estado enfermo por mucho tiempo. De manera similar, Jesús te conoce a ti y a mí. Él conoce nuestras enfermedades, nuestros pecados, nuestras debilidades, nuestras luchas, nuestras cruces. Él sabe todo acerca de nosotros, si nos damos cuenta de eso o no. No hay nada que podamos esconder de Dios.

En segundo lugar, Jesús le pregunta al hombre: “¿Quieres curarte?” Jesús nos hace la misma pregunta. ¿Quieres permanecer en tu estado de miseria, dolor y sufrimiento? ¿O quieres ser sanado? Por supuesto, esta pregunta parece obvia, pero a veces nos aferramos a nuestro dolor. Hemos experimentado el dolor por tanto tiempo que se ha convertido en una parte de nosotros. Tal vez fuimos lastimados hace muchos años y no sabemos cómo encontrar la curación. O no sabemos cómo será la vida si permitimos que Jesús entre en esa área oculta o herida de nuestra vida… O si nos abrimos a un amigo pensamos que podrían huir gritando… O parece que no podemos perdonar a esa persona que nos hizo daño…

El hombre en el Evangelio comienza a poner excusas por qué no ha podido llegar a la piscina del agua que cura. Pero Jesús es la fuente de toda sanación y Él ahora está ante el hombre. Nosotros también ponemos excusas para no buscar la curación. No tenemos tiempo para eso. O culpamos a la Iglesia en uno de sus ministros. Tenemos excusas de por qué no vamos a la iglesia, por qué no oramos, por qué no tenemos tiempo para leer la Biblia.

Pero Jesús nos está preguntando directamente, “¿Quieres ser sanado?” Es por la sangre y el agua que fluye de Su costado que encontramos curación. Él no nos defraudará si volvemos a Él. Jesús siempre quiere amarnos y sanarnos. Ser vulnerables no es fácil, de hecho, da miedo. Pero cuando abrimos nuestros corazones a la gracia de Jesucristo, Él cambiara nuestras vidas para siempre. Toma tiempo hoy en oración para relacionarte con Jesús sobre lo que está pasando en tu corazón.

¿Quieres ser sanado? 
¿Pones excusas por qué no vas a Jesús para la sanación?
¿Puedo dejar ir el control y permitir que el Señor me transforme desde adentro hacia afuera?

Dios los bendiga,

Fr. Burke




  1. i have send several mssgs to request you for direct communication channel to the vocations director of your diocese. can i still get that

    vincent kamba,, from kenya

    • Hi Vincent, at this time we are not accepting applications for men who do not live in our diocese unless they have a strong connection to one of our priests.

  2. Fr. Burke,
    This was the best explanation and incite into this bible passage I have ever heard to date.

    Mike B

  3. Hello Fr Burke. Could you please explain to me what Jesus meant when he told the healed man “…do not sin any more so that nothing worse may happen to you”. To me this implies sin causes our infirmities. Thanks for your letters! My wife and I sure look forward to them. Love you. Danny and Bernadine Talarico


    • Often in Scripture Jesus connects sin with physical illness. When Jesus forgave sins often the people were healed physically. I think it is a way for the Lord to show us how He forgave sins. In some cases in our lives sin can cause physical illness (poor moral choices), but always sin causes spiritual illness. Hope that helps. I just think it was a way for the Lord to show us that there are serious consequences to our sins.

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