Water, water everywhere in today’s readings. Cool, refreshing, nurturing, life supporting water, water that gladdens the city of God, water that cures a chronically ill man. In many parts of our world we take water for granted, and in other parts we appreciate every drop as a precious resource. I recently read a report that indicated there is plenty of fresh water in the world, but obviously there are regional surpluses and severe shortages.
Thinking of water many times makes me thirsty, even if I wasn’t conscious of my thirst before. My body calls for replenishment, my parched organs and pores long for the swelling that comes from water. My skin needs the touch of water to cool, to fight off germs, to remove the stains and soil of everyday life.
Water is a physical gift from God, a necessity for life itself. But how aware are we of this gift? Do we reflect on water’s properties as we consume it? Do we think of where it comes from, how it got to us, what modern marvels make it possible for us to drink clean water at great distances from its sources? Do we feel the interconnectedness of water and all life? Are we grateful for water’s presence in our lives, and the good it does for us? Do we take joy in knowing that water supports us, and gives us the life we know? Do we love the source of water?
Now, re-read the previous paragraphs and substitute “God’s love” for “water” (or the reference to water). It is no wonder then that water is a strong and logical analogy to God’s love, a love that nourishes and soothes and heals our afflictions.
For many of us, this is a time when we are in a season of Lent – preparation for Easter. During Lent we turn to reflect on our sinfulness, on the salvific love of Jesus, on our spiritual renewal. But for me, today, I feel called to take a break from my Lenten journey as I contemplate and savor the wonder of water.
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