Wednesday, May 05, 2010
In Boston about 2 million of us area residents had a water crisis from Saturday evening until yesterday, Tuesday morning. A ten foot wide pipe carrying purified water to Boston and other communities burst the coupling. Water from two other reservoirs was used for bathroom use and fire hydrants. However that water had to be boiled. Local restaurants and coffee shops had a sharp decrease in business. Bottled water disappeared from retail shelves. And, even the simple act of brushing one's teeth forced a person to make sure the water used was boiled or purified. Compared to some of the flooding and other natural disasters occurring in the USA and other places, this water problem may have been a "blip" on the screen. Yet those few days of being careful of what came out of the faucet made me appreciate how great a gift it is to have clean running water so easily available. Thousands of people have to walk miles just to reach clean water, and then trek more miles to carry it home.
Jesus certainly knew what he was saying and how important water is to each of us when he said, "Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." (John 4:14) Again in John Chapter 7, Jesus said, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" (vs. 37-38)
Of course, Jesus was speaking of the deep spiritual thirst each person has for God. As St. Augustine put it, "Our hearts are made for Thee O Lord, and ever restless will they be until they rest in Thee."
How to quench this spiritual thirst? Pray for the "water gushing up to eternal life." Read the gospels, especially the gospel of John where Jesus makes the references to himself as the living water. Receive the Lord Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist where we partake even more fully of his life.
If you are reading this, and you are not a Christian, you may want to enquire about Baptism. It is the ritual whereby one who believes in the divinity of Christ, and in what he taught, and accepts it, is joined with Christ and his church. It involves submitting to a ritual which includes either the pouring of water on one's forehead, or total immersion in water, or sprinkling of water on a person. At the same time the minister (usually a priest or a deacon) speaks the formula: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." My blog space is limited, which also limits this description. As I think about how precious is the gift of clean, ever flowing water, I thank God for the gift of Jesus who is our fountain of water, springing up to life eternal. I also pray for those people who suffer from drought that they may be blessed with abundant, yet gentle rain for all their needs.