Apr 2 (Jn 5:1-3, 5-16)

“The seven habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey is one of the most popular best-selling book in the world.

The book speaks of seven prime qualities to tap success in life and to achieve one’s objectives and aims.

The first among these seven habits of highly effective people is “to be proactive” in life.

• Problems beset every person in this world.

• Difficulties surround all of us, in every society.

But, the one who is “proactive” in life, is able to get over these “paralyzing” factors of life.

The Gospel of the Day is a beautiful presentation of this aspect:

On how to have our heads raised up, in hope and trust, despite many crushing and crippling causes in life.

Jesus is in Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.

• As he passed through the town, he came near a pool, named Bethzatha.

Jesus encounters a person there, who has been ill for a very long period… thirty eight years! (Jn 5:5)

We are not exactly told what illness was it…

• Probably a paralyzing illness… a cripple of the legs… or even a combination of many other sicknesses.

But one thing is known: this sickness made the person to not walk!

The sickness had immobilized him.

But more than his physical body, it seems, that the sickness had crippled also his mind:

• His way of thinking seemed jammed in having hope in life…

• His outlook to life seemed blurred to see optimism and hope…

• His perspective of people seemed to distort his confidence and trust…

When Jesus questions the man, “Do you want to be well?”, the man answers not with a positive affirmation or an optimistic assertion.

Instead he begins to get into a complaining and a pitiable mode, ” Sir, I have no one…. ” (Jn 5: 7)

• A ray of hope was offered to him…

.. but instead the man continued to see only the dark clouds.

• A glimpse of joy was revealed to him…

… but instead the man persisted on the sad aspects alone.

The long period of sickness had blotted his vision and faded his hopes.

But the Lord.. the ever-challenging God, does not allow the man to remain in this unfortunate and “look-on-me-with-sympathy-please” mode…

• Instead, Jesus charges him, “Rise, take up your mat and walk” (Jn 5:8)

And immediately the man became well, took up his mat and walked!

• The presence of the Lord vanished away the man’s doubts and lame excuses…

• The mighty word of the Lord purged away the man’s feelings of looking at life negatively…

The man became proactive…

… casting away his attitude of complaining to become a person of courage

… dropping off his crippling attitude of “none-to-help” and picking up the mat of power and grace

• Problems beset each of us in this world.

• Difficulties surround all of us, at various times and situations

But, the one who is “proactive” in life, is able to get over these “paralyzing” factors of life!

Jesus gives us this courage and the hope to be “proactive” in life, with His grace and mercy.

• Pro-activity is not a mere human attitude of determination…

… it is an action spurred by the mighty love and mercy of the Lord.

• Pro-activity is not a mere individual display of willpower and resolve…

… it is an approach, impelled by a tremendous faith and hope in the Lord.

You and I, very often may find ourselves in crippling situations of life.

• We may keep on lying down…

• We may keep on being a “complaint-box”

• We may keep on blaming people and situations…

Or…

• We may raise up our heads to see the Lord challenging us to walk…

• We may garner strength and courage and be bold to pick up our mats of suffering…

• We may imbue ourselves with the Lord’s power to never let anything cripple our minds..

Shall we be ready, “to rise, take up our mats, and walk?”

The choice is ours…

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “We all have a vocation.

>> We believe that God has called us to this state of life to fill a special need that no one else can accomplish!”

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