Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday of the Fourth Week
Water.  Water runs through the Bible and our understanding of salvation as ubiquitously and essentially as the water in our physical lives.    A moment’s reflection brings dozens of examples from both the new and old Testaments using water to communicate the absolute necessity for God and His salvation and moreover to share how deeply beautiful that wellspring of life is.

Here in the first reading we see the water springing forth from the temple in great abundance to nurture, heal, and bring life to the earth, foreshadowing the water of life that is Christ, and the promise of Revelation: “Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its street. On either side of the river grew the tree of life that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.”

Then, in the Gospel, we see that it is Christ himself who is the healing water, superseding the mere physical water of the pool.  And again, in John 9:6, we find Jesus giving the water of His body, using His spit mixed with mud to heal the blind man.  Finally, in direct parallel with the water pouring forth in abundance from the temple, in the end we see the fullness of the analogy as water pours out of the side of the crucified Christ.

Water heals.  It nurtures. It sustains. And it is gloriously beautiful.  But it is only a meager earthly metaphor for the water of heaven that comes to us through Christ.  As Jesus says to the Samaritan woman at the well: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

O Lord, let Your love wash over us.  Sustain us, heal us, and bring us joy with Your everlasting life.

Joanna Ellis-Monaghan, Professor of Mathematics

First Reading: Ezekiel 47: 1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
Gospel: John 5:1-16

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


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