April 20: Jerusalem IV: Beware: Angels!

bethesda.tile

My mother found this old Delft tile for us. It tells a story of Jerusalem, of a special corner of Jerusalem, the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus told the disabled man to pick up his bed and walk away – to a new life. (See John 5, as the artist helpfully tells us.)

Of course there was trouble since this event took place on a Sabbath day, and the great and the good were concerned to keep the Sabbath holy. But they failed to see the bigger picture. Would they have regarded a woman giving birth on a Sabbath day, as unavoidable but regrettable? Surely not, but here is another new life before their very eyes, and they miss-see it.

The Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) now live at the site of Bethesda, at the Church of St Anne, mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus. It is a place of study and reconciliation between denominations, faiths and races, a place of welcome.

Jesus took on the role of the healing Angel at the Pool of Bethesda; the Missionaries of Africa hope to contribute to healing a broken world. Like Melchizedek they are messengers of the Lord, Angels in human form: please pray for them.

Missionaries of Africa, White Fathers

MMB.

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