retreat this weekend

We're having a retreat this weekend, for a group from Emmaus Ministries (they also came for a retreat last summer). The focus for the retreat is the story of the healing at Bethesda, John 5.2-9. Here's the beginning of the dramatic reading Heather wrote to introduce the story:

There are so many of us here; and we are all so dirty. How could I be clean—a man like me, who can't even raise his legs out of the dust? There is a woman who comes and washes me once a day, and brings a plate of food. My cousin's wife. She hates me, I can see it on her face. But she does what she has to do. She puts the food down by my mat, and she turns me over and washes me, while I turn my head away. At least I can still turn my head away.

And then she goes, and I lie here, looking up at the clean stone pillars all around me and the wooden roof-beams up above and the rows and rows of mats, all around me, all the stinking, useless cripples like myself. And beyond them, off to the right out of the corner of my eye, there's the water of the Pool, flashing in the sun. The pool where the angel comes, or so they say; and when the water stirs it means the angel is there, and if you can leap into the pool the moment the angel stirs it—if you can be the first one in, or maybe even the second—it will heal anything that's wrong with you. Anything. That's what they say.

There is no angel. It's all a mean lie, made up to torture cripples like me. Leap into the pool, cripple! Be healed! No, no, there is an angel, it's no lie. I've heard the shouts of joy, I've lifted up my head and tried to see through the crazy crowd to where the cripples are dancing, and I've seen. I think. But oh God in heaven, I will never be one of them. I never will.

(The whole reading can be downloaded here.)