Gardeners Touch

Getting to the ROOT of Change

AGING WITH GRACE | LIVING WATER

These past few sultry weeks have killed my garden.  I just didn’t give my plants enough water.  I’ve yielded some wonderful fruit, but the lack of water wasn’t enough to sustain any new growth.  Hmmmm….have I ever mentioned that I do so much of my learning from observing my garden? 

Something as simple as water has such an immense impact when we simply USE it. It got me thinking about how water is such a rich symbol in the church, filled with spiritual meaning, not to mention the soothing response it has to stress. 

I began to sit with this thought of living water that’s been a recurring image in my prayer time. I found this reflection insightful by Father Michael Van Sloun (read the full article here: https://thecatholicspirit.com/faith/focus-on-faith/faith-fundamentals/the-waters-of-baptism/)

  • Water is rebirth. Jesus explained, “No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5). A person is born as a human being by the goodness of one’s mother, and through the waters of baptism, a person is reborn as a spiritual being by the grace of God, and through this rebirth, the person is an adopted child of God.
  • Water is life. Water is essential for a plant to grow and bear fruit, and without water, a plant will wilt and die. The waters of baptism impart the life of Christ and enable Christians to grow spiritually and bear an abundant yield of good deeds in the vineyard of life.
  • Water is power. The swift current of a large river can generate an enormous amount of hydroelectric power.  Similarly, the waters of baptism convey the infinite power of God’s amazing grace and energize a person to live a dynamic and vibrant Christian life.
  • Water is salvation. Noah’s family was saved from the raging waters of the great flood by the ark. A person is rescued in the waters of baptism from the tumult of sin that is swirling below, and is saved in the safety of the boat of the Church with Jesus as its captain. Jesus explained, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16:16a).
  • Water is cleansing. Water is used to wash soiled clothes or dirty dishes to get rid of the dirt and grime, so they will be sparkling clean. Similarly, the waters of baptism wash away the stains and impurities of sin so that the soul can be white as wool or freshly fallen snow.
  • Water is deliverance, liberation and freedom. The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt. They were liberated and received their freedom when God divided the sea and they passed through the waters, which were like a wall to their right and their left (Ex 14:21-22). The waters of baptism are deliverance from slavery to sin, liberation from the forces of evil and offer the freedom to choose to live according to God’s ways.
  • Water is death and resurrection. To fall into the water and be submerged for even a short amount of time can result in drowning and death. If a lifeguard is nearby, the rescuer can dive in, bring the victim out of the water and save his or her life. When a person is plunged into the waters of baptism, the person shares in the death of Jesus, and when the person comes up out of the water, the person is saved and shares in his resurrection (see Rom 6:3-5).
  • Water is eternal life. When the Israelites came to the end of their exodus journey outside of Jericho, they passed through the waters of the Jordan River, which had halted upstream so that they could cross over safely into the Promised Land (Jos 3:14-17). Those who pass through the waters of baptism are promised an eternal inheritance so that when their human life on earth ends, they will cross over safely to eternal life with God forever in heaven.

“They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.” ~ Isaiah 49:10 

We are so richly blessed to know that through the words of the Eucharist prayer of the Mass, “by the mystery of this water”, that Jesus is fully present to us – truly human and Divine, understanding our need for His living water to refresh and restore us. 

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