He . . . guides them beside springs of water. 

Did you know that the earth’s surface is over 70 percent water?   And more than half of the people on earth live within 3 kilometers of fresh water!   Not only that, but our bodies are 60 percent water.   And while you can survive for weeks without food, you will only last 3-5 days without water.   Clearly, water is essential for life.

The theme of water runs through the Scriptures too, especially in Lent.   So far, our Lenten readings have presented multiple images of trees planted by streams of water, Moses striking the rock for water in the desert, Naaman the leper being cleansed in the river, and a Samaritan woman receiving living water from Jesus.   And just yesterday, we read about Ezekiel’s image of the Temple flowing with the river of life, along with the story of a man Jesus healed by the pool of Bethsaida in Jerusalem.

Through all of these stories and more, God is showing us that his life is like water for us.   In fact, our spiritual lives are surrounded by water.   In Baptism we were cleansed by water, and we received within ourselves a spring of living water bubbling up in our hearts.   And at the end of our lives, during the Mass of Christian Burial, our bodies are sprinkled with holy water.   Each Lent, we prepare for the great liturgies of the Triduum, when holy water is blessed and catechumens are baptized into the Church.

How do you need to experience God’s life-giving water today?   Take a moment in prayer and ask the Lord to help you come in touch with the life he has placed in you.   Let the spring well up within you—a spring of hope, of joy, of cleansing, and of peace.   Let that living water irrigate any “parched ground” in you—softening your heart, cleansing your conscience, healing your memories, enlivening your imagination.   Let it carry away your burdens and give you the simple joy of knowing that Christ is in you and that he will never stop loving and caring for you.

word among us