Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.
He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah; and when it enters the sea, the sea of stagnant waters, the water will become fresh. Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish, once these waters reach there. It will become fresh; and everything will live where the river goes.
On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
This passage from Ezekiel speaks of the unrestrained flow of God’s grace as we attempt to live out our faith in everyday life. We cannot live without water or God’s grace.
The image of water flowing from the temple standing high on a hill reminds me of the power of water and what a gift it is. Through water we entered the world. Holy water over our forehead at Baptism marked our initiation into the Christian life. Water as a healer is used in many ways: hot water to sterilize, warm water to soothe and cleanse, cool water to control a fever. There is nothing like chilled water on a hot summer day. Water is a means of recreation: swimming, ice skating. Without water, we would be denied the food we enjoy. Yes! Water is indeed a gift from God.
Let’s use this as a call to express gratitude for the water that is available to us, while at the same time, paying attention to excessive waste of running water. Scientists continue to alert us to the water shortage not only in our own country but throughout the world, thus impacting the food supply.
To paraphrase Ignatius’ question of “what do you desire?”: ask yourself “What am I thirsting for today?
—Pat Schloemer is a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio, and in her fourth year of service with the Ignatian Lay Volunteer Corps. Pat and Sam Schloemer have been married 54 years, have 4 married children, and 11 grandchildren.
Springs of water, bless the Lord;
give God glory and praise forever.