Reflection: Living Water

By Fr. Mike Boutin

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink. All those who believe in me, asthe Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within them."  John 7:37ff

I found this great song about Living Water on youtube.  Don't miss it.

It's raining outside my window. There's nothing sadder than an autumn rainstorm: the trees give up their leaves in one good gale of wind, and then the world is left with the skeletons of winter and piles of leaves to rake.

Rain: tears of heaven....crying for loss...and loneliness....and shrouds of memory of those who have gone before us.....

Rain: waterfalls rushing, pools refreshing, baths soothing....water that gives life and refreshment and washes us clean....

The waters of baptism that make us a new creation....members of the Cosmic Body of Christ, through space and time....one Bread, and one Body...One Cup of Life coursing through the Universe toward Eternity....

I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...and then Life anew...to live and share....

But in the waters of baptism, even as we celebrate new life, the irony is that the Church speaks of "dying with Christ": we die with Christ in the waters of Baptism so that we might rise with Him to newness of life, St. Paul says.

Death and life in water....That's the reality of water, though isn't it?  Water can be cool and refreshing like a pool or waterfall in the summer time, or soothing our aching muscles in a hot bath after a long hard day.

But water can also be a tsunami that kills 500,000 people without warning....

Water can bring life to us humans and to our pets and to our plants...and without it, we die.

But too much water, and we drown.

That's why the early Church baptized by immersion: plunging the new Christians under water, just to the precipice of a drowning death: discipleship with Christ is indeed a near-death experience.  None of that lukewarm Christianity for them....

Lord, wash over me....wash me clean....wash me anew...drown me in your love and mercy and new life...let me rise up out of the waters of baptism radiant in your glory...

I am thirsty, Lord...let me drink....

I need to be washed clean....wash me now....

I am dying in this world, Lord....give me new life....

Now pray.....

 

Father Mike Boutin is the co-pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Walpole, MA, and travels widely, leading pilgrimages throughout the world to various Catholic religious sites. He is a frequent speaker on liturgy, music, spirituality, and pastoral ministry.