“How refreshing a cold drink of water can be when we are parched from work or play on a hot summer’s day!”
Our Lenten Journey through the Corporal Works of Mercy continues.
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
“A common experience: how refreshing a cold drink of water can be when we are parched from work or play on a hot summer’s day! Nothing else refreshes and satisfies. Our bodies, made up of 60% water, crave it to satisfy our thirsts. For many it abounds freely, and for so many more in our world, including some places within our own country, fresh water becomes even more precious as its supply is inadequate, unsanitary or polluted.
As we thirst for fresh water to meet our daily needs for cleanliness and refreshment, indeed life itself, there is an even deeper thirst within us that cries out to be slaked. It is our deep thirst for God. Psalmist cries out, “O God . . . my soul thirst for you” (Psalm 63). Jesus, in meeting the Samaritan woman at the community well in the heat of the scorching day, asks her for a drink of water. In this encounter, begun with addressing this most basic of human need with basic human kindness, and a gesture of profound mercy to one in need, Jesus invites her (and us) into a deeper well of God’s mercy and love for us. Jesus recognized that while he may have had this physical thirst, her life was parched from so much pain and struggle that could only be quenched by the love he was offering.
In our Gospel, Jesus is inviting us to once again look at this simple and merciful offering of a cool drink of water to those among us who thirst. Do we turn a deaf hear to the parched cries of those who simply have no clean water?! Do we recognize the many profound thirsts of our neighbours: thirst for justice, thirst for hope, a thirst to be heard, a thirst so powerful from carrying their own cross in life that they too cry out with Jesus’ own words from the Cross, “I thirst”. And do we recognize our thirst for the life-giving, soul satisfying water that only Jesus offers? When we have been drenched in this living water then we will be impelled to offer a cool drink of that water to the arid lives of those who long for living water.
A friend has this uncredited saying on his wall:
Mercy is a gift from the heart of God that requires nothing of the soul, except that it turn to Holy One to be tended and loved and fortified and strengthened and made whole by the sweetness and kindness of God’s grace.
Let it be so for us.”
(Fr. Conrad Edwards, Diocese of Antigonish in Corporal Works of Mercy, Atlantic Liturgical Commission, 2021)
“Shorter showers … but maybe don’t skip them”
Our youth on Giving Water to the Thirsty:
Each Sunday of Lent, plus Palm Sunday and Wednesday of Holy Week, we will share a reflection and video to learn of and practise the seven Corporal Works of Mercy:
The information is based on a new resource prepared by the Atlantic Liturgical Commission, and includes submission from diocesan staff and clergy throughout the Atlantic Provinces.
(Click on the image to download)
We invite you to download the resource and celebrate the prayer services at home. The music, readings, reflections and prayers are provided for you and you may wish simply to use, for example, the YouTube link for the hymn, but if you are able to sing yourselves then that is encouraged. We invite you to use these rituals in ways that work best for you and your situations. That we gather to pray and act is the most important thing.
Watch for our next posting on the Second Sunday of Lent: Clothe the Needy