Reflection for Tuesday April 2, 2019: 4th Week of Lent.
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Today's readings begin with an object lesson for the prophet, Ezekiel. The angel showed Ezekiel flowing water, which started with a trickle beginning at the temple. After measuring precisely 1000 cubits (about 500 yards) downstream, the trickle becomes ankle deep. After another 1000 cubits, it becomes knee deep, then waist deep, and then a river that could only be crossed by swimming. Ezekiel enters the water to measure the depth at each successive stage, but he apparently did not want to swim. (Let the record show that swimming preceded the invention of Red Cross swimming lessons.)|These movements of water shown by the angel defy our natural understanding, at least if it is founded only on what is visible from the surface. A trickle does not become a river with increasing distance without some other deeper source producing more water. The trickle coming from the temple is apparently just the visible portion, while a deeper, invisible source produces such a tremendous flow. |The angel asked Ezekiel, "Have you seen this, son of man?" Then, he told Ezekiel to sit and look further. The angel showed him that the water possessed life in a more abundant form. It would make the sea water fresh, overpowering the chemistry of salt. Plants growing on the banks of this river would produce both fruit and medicine, and fish would grow within these waters. These living things would sustain mankind, giving him both food and the medicine he needs to thrive.|Like Ezekiel, we need to see, sit, and contemplate this lesson. Ezekiel knew that God was showing him something powerful, but God also chose to keep a deeper mystery within this story, which he did not even reveal to Ezekiel. Revelation of that mystery would have to wait until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Blood and water that flowed from his pierced side on the cross became the trickle that flowed from his body, the true fulfillment of all that the temple could represent in former times. This water of life flows out and changes all that it touches, much like a river flowing through time, reaching even people like us.|In today's gospel, Jesus shows that he is the embodiment of living water. He speaks words of healing to accomplish healing in a broken man, which waters in the pool could not accomplish. His word proceeded from a deeper source, which contained true life that was sufficient to turn brokenness into wholeness. This is the food and medicine that we need.|Let us contemplate our brokenness and pursue Jesus earnestly during this season of Lent, knowing that he desires to heal and give us abundant life, and he has the power to confer these things upon us. Thanks be to God.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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