Picture that Angel - the Angel That Troubled the Water. His head enclosed in a dazzling halo made of gold as bright as the sun, and the wings dark red and blue, edged with rose. In the early Renaissance a humble friar painted scores of angel-musicians playing strange-looking instruments in praise of God. But the Angel John speaks of had a special mission, a special music and his instrument was Divine Love. With his sacred fingers and sacred breath he stirred up the pool, he troubled the water and miracles of healing were performed. Today the pool of Bethesda is a relic, without so much as a drop of water to be troubled. Still, its parched and dusty ruins have something to teach us.They teach us to pray that an Angel will stir up our hearts, will trouble our souls and move us to comfort the afflicted; to offer them our steadfast hope and understanding, our unflagging sympathy and solace, and most of all, never-ending love, our eternal love. We, of course, cannot perform miracles of healing, but we can assuage their pain and suffering -- perhaps we may even palliate their fear of dying -- by showing how boundless is their significance to us, letting them know that we will always love and remember them. Remember them forevermore. Can we not do more than that? Can we not do more than that? Perhaps not, for we are not Angels; we are mere mortals. In time we too must die, and with us all the cherished thoughts of those whom we have loved also die. We too survive but a while in the thoughts of those who loved us. Yet the love will have been enough. What a gift from Him whose love for us is neither brief nor fragile. Love is not consolation. It is light. And what more precious gift than that can we bring to those afraid to face the darkness? Or to those already standing in the shadows, longing for light? The light of love. Yes, we are mere mortals and the gift of love comes at the cost of everything we are, and all that we will ever be. Giving it is the greatest blessing within our power. To give it is to be -- for a little while at least - among the Angels.
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Dominick Argento (1927 - 2019), "Sermon", 2006-7 [soprano], from Evensong: Of Love and Angels, no. 5. [ sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2010-12-17
Line count: 31
Word count: 387