Chapter 10. Water
Water covers about 70% of the earth's surface and amounts to a total water supply of about 326 million cubic miles. Water refreshes and gives life, renews and washes clean. The Lord is our Shepherd who leads us to restful and refreshing waters. Through Baptism, we have died to self and risen from the waters to new life in Christ. When newly blessed Holy Water is sprinkled upon us at Easter, we recall our Baptism. As Holy Water fonts from above, dew and rain can remind us of Jesus who is the Living Water who forever quenches our thirst when we seek Him. May we allow God to continually renew us through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
We must be born again from above. O God, You wash us with the purifying waters of Baptism. Jesus is the Living Water. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, we are reborn. We are a new creation, the children of God. As children at Christmas, we marvel at the birth of Jesus and hear the angels sing Hosanna to God in the Highest. Emmanuel—God is with us, now and always. "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus..." (Lk 1:28, 42).
God will bless you, my son, with dew from heaven and with fertile fields, rich with grain and grapes.
That evening a lot of quails came and landed everywhere in the camp, and the next morning dew covered the ground. After the dew had gone, the desert was covered with thin flakes that looked like frost.
But the hills and valleys in the promised land are watered by rain from heaven ...
Israel, I will teach you. My words will be like gentle rain on tender young plants, or like dew on the grass.
Israel, you will live in safety; your enemies will be gone. The dew will fall from the sky, and you will have plenty of grain and wine.
Isaiah 55:10 (NIV)
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater ...
I will be like the dew—then you will blossom like lilies and have roots like a tree.
When I was born, there were no oceans or springs of water.
Job 37:6 (NIV)
He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
Who is the father of the dew and of the rain?
Psalm 23: 1–3
You, LORD, are my shepherd.
I will never be in need.
You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me
along the right paths.
You provide streams of water
in the hills and valleys ...
While Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers. One was Simon, also known as Peter, and the other was Andrew. They were fishermen, and they were casting their net into the lake.
The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a net is thrown into a lake and catches all kinds of fish.
Matthew 14:25–26 (NIV)
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
Once again, Jesus went to the shore of Lake Galilee. A large crowd gathered around him,
and he taught them.
The next time Jesus taught beside Lake Galilee, a big crowd gathered. It was so large that he had to sit in a boat out on the lake, while the people stood on the shore.
John 4:10–11, 13–14
Jesus answered, "You don't know what God wants to give you, and you don't know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would ask me for the water that gives life." "Sir," the woman said, "you don't even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this life-giving water?" Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. But no one who drinks the water I give will ever be thirsty again. The water I give is like a flowing fountain that gives eternal life."
That evening, Jesus' disciples went down to the lake. They got into a boat and started across for Capernaum. Later that evening Jesus had still not come to them ...
The people who had stayed on the east side of the lake knew that only one boat had been there. They also knew that Jesus had not left in it with his disciples. But the next day some boats from Tiberias sailed near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread for which the Lord had given thanks. They saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
"...Have faith in me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you, just as the Scriptures say."
The Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to streams of life-giving water, and God will wipe all tears from their eyes.
When drinking water, think of its source.
Little drops of water
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.
—Julia A. Fletcher Carney (1823–1908). Little Things , st. 1.
The lack of water might well be the principal question that humanity will have to address in the near future. It is not enough to think of present needs; we have a serious responsibility to future generations, who will ask us to account for our commitment to safeguard the natural resources that the Creator has entrusted to us so that we treat them with care and respect.
—Pope John Paul II, 5 July 2000 (VIS—Vatican Information Service). With permission.
God provides us with the rain. Water refreshes us, and is essential for drinking, cooking, and washing. We need to conserve this precious resource and prevent waste. Millions without sufficient clean water call out in thirst for safe drinking water. With all the advances of our technology, we can at least provide the means for them to reach life-sustaining water.
Powerful moving waters provide a source of renewable energy. Thousands of years ago, waterwheels were first used to convert potential energy to kinetic energy. Waves, tides, and waterfalls can power hydroelectric plants to provide energy to light our homes. However, dams built for the purpose have a record of problems. Natural sources of water power seem best.Waves, surf, and storms can be awesome but also dangerous. Tidal waves have suddenly destroyed homes and lives. Rip tides have taken the lives of swimmers. Storms have flooded homes and communities. Early warning systems and education are necessary to protect lives. May we be charitable to victims of floods and disasters.
Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia
Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia. Photo courtesy of Paul G. Brach.
(C) 2002 by Anthony R. Brach.